Officials have arrested the ex-boyfriend of a woman who was killed by a bomb blast in the California spa where she worked.
Cops searched Stephen Beal's Long Beach home and found about 130 pounds of explosives in his garage, Orange County Sherrif Department spokesperson Carrie Braun told People. Beal told investigators he is interested in model rockets and denied making any bombs, the magazine reported.
An explosion in Magyar Kozmetika, a spa Beal owned with his ex, Ildiko Krajnyak, injured three and killed Krajnyak on Tuesday. A witness said that a device was detonated when Krajnyak opened a cardboard box, according to CNN. The walls and windows of the building were destroyed in the blast.
Beal, pictured here with Krajnyak, was apprehended on suspicion of being in possession of an unregistered destructive device, according to a joint statement released by the FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Beal, 59, was charged with possessing the device Thursday, but has not been charged in connection with Krajnyak's death at this point, People reported.
During the blast, businesses were stunned by the loud boom and assumed there had been an earthquake, according to the LA Times. The discovery of a "device" at the crime scene led police to believe the explosion was caused by a bomb.
“Based upon witness statements and people who were there, we don’t believe it was an accident,” Braun told People. “It wasn’t a gas leak, it wasn’t an exploding oxygen tank. It was not an accident.”
“Our investigators are still determining if we can connect any of the items that were located at the house to the explosion,” said Braun, adding, “They are still processing the scene and evidence ... [Investigators] are working as quick as they can to see if there is any connection ... We know the public is vey concerned.”
A neighbor of Krajnyak's who identified herself only as Tiffany said that the victim's family was surprised by the news.
"The family is in shock — total shock — and they're trying to contact other family in Hungary ... "This poor family, no one is prepared for anything like this," Tiffany said to the LA Times.
Beal is currently being held without bail and potentially faces up to 10 years in prison, according to CBS News. He is expected back in court on Monday.
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