A man was charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device after an explosion in a medical building in Aliso Viejo, California earlier this week appeared in federal court on Thursday.
Stephen Beal’s home was searched after his ex-girlfriend, Ildiko Krajnyak, died in a bombing Tuesday at a day spa the two opened together. Beal was a partner in the business.
A patron of the spa recalled that as she approached the counter to pay, Krajnyak picked up mail and a few cardboard boxes and proceeded to open of the boxes. Then the box exploded. Two other victims were injured in the explosion but survived.
Beal has not been charged in connection with the bombing that killed Krajnyak, said the FBI according to NBC Los Angeles. FBI agents said they are still investigating specifics of how the explosion happened but also said it was probably intentional.
Beal said he dated the victim for a year and half and they stopped dating by either February or March. FBI Special Agent Evan Jesch wrote an affadavit that notes that the relationship “began to cool due to disputes over the exclusivity of the relationship and financial issues,” according to NBC News.
Beal’s current girlfiend told authorities that she knew the salon was the same as the one belonging to Beal and his ex-girlfriend when she saw the news of the explosion on television.
Beal told his authorities about his hobby of building model rockets. Beal also mentioned making a small bomb to help neighbors with their “gopher problem.” One agent wrote in a note in the criminal complaint that his devices did not look like they were “consistent with that of a model rocket.”
According to the affidavit, the spa’s ceiling was blown open and there was glass in the parking lot. One of the patrons who escaped saw that the spa was on fire. What remained of the victim’s body was found in the parking lot of a nearby building and outside a window.
Beal’s first wife died in an accident while the couple was moving furniture, neighbors have told reporters. The Orange County Register looked at the coroner’s records and found that the cause of death was listed as undetermined and that an autopsy report described her death as mysterious but that there was no evidence of foul play.
He did not enter a plea on Thursday and will be in federal court again on Monday, to find out whether he will be released and where bail will be set, according to the Orange County Register.
Krajnyak was an aesthetician for most of her life. A neighbor told the Los Angeles Times, “She worked so, so hard, always trying to make money to support her family and send her son to private school. She would go on trips, come back home and 45 minutes later, walk back out, heading to work.”
“She took great pride in finding beauty in everyone,” Irene White, a family friend, told the press.