Federal agents arrested a Long Beach man Sunday at a Long Beach ATM in the death of his ex-girlfriend last year, who was killed in an explosion when she opened a cardboard box at a day spa in Aliso Viejo.
Agents were also searching the Long Beach home of Stephen Beal, who was also arrested one day after the May 15 blast at 11 Mareblu that killed 48-year-old Ildiko Krajnyak, who co-owned the spa with Beal.
Beal was not charged with causing the blast after his arrest last year. He was charged only in federal court with possession of an unregistered destructive device. Prosecutors brought a motion to dismiss the charges, which was granted May 29.
Officials were expected to release more information about Sunday’s arrest at a news conference Monday morning, according to Laura Eimiller of the FBI’s Los Angeles Office.
According to a court affidavit before charges were dropped in May, federal investigators searching Beal’s home recovered a pair of pipe bombs and three firearms, none of which were registered. Beal also told investigators that he an Krajnyak split up over issues of exclusivity and finances, according to the affidavit.
However, federal prosecutors said further examination by the FBI “raises questions as to whether the devices meet the statutory definition for a `destructive device’ contained in” federal law.
In November, sheriff’s and FBI investigators said they were continuing to look for a suspect and asked for the public’s help.
“We are looking at every grain of sand,” said Joshua Stone, an FBI assistant special agent in charge. “Combing through the evidence in this case has been described as looking for something microscopic in a giant building that was hit by a tornado. Nevertheless, we are committed to using every tool available to follow the evidence to conclusion.”
Two other women who were in the day spa at the time of the explosion suffered significant burns and other injuries, sheriff’s officials said.
Authorities say more than 1,000 pieces of evidence were collected from the crime scene, 300 of which were sent to FBI’s Laboratory Division in Quantico, Virginia, to be examined.
Investigators have also accumulated “terrabytes of digital media and hours of surveillance footage.”
The ingredients of the bomb could have been bought at retail stores, investigators say.
Anyone with information was asked to call the FBI tip line at (800) CALL-FBI. Video of the incident can be seen at www.fbi.gov/caexplosion.