The FBI plans to release details Monday about the case against a Long Beach man suspected in the death last year of his ex-girlfriend, who was killed in an explosion when she opened a cardboard box at a day spa she and the suspect owned in Aliso Viejo.
Agents Sunday morning burst into the Long Beach home of Stephen Beal and arrested him without incident. Officials were expected to release more information about Sunday’s arrest and the fatal blast at a news conference in Orange Monday morning, according to Laura Eimiller of the FBI’s Los Angeles Office.
Beal also was arrested one day after the May 15 blast that killed 48-year-old Ildiko Krajnyak at the spa. At the time, investigators reported finding two improvised explosive devices, three unregistered firearms and more than 100 pounds of explosive material during a search of his house. He told investigators at the time that he an Krajnyak had split up in part over finances, according to a court affidavit.
He 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. But federal prosecutors said further examination by the FBI raised questions as to whether the item met the definition of a `destructive device’ set out in federal law, and prosecutors later brought a motion to dismiss the charges, which was granted May 29.
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.