Stephen Beal ex-boyfriend of blast victim arrested on explosives charge in Aliso Viejo, Calif., on Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Southern Calif. spa owner Ildiko Krajnyak was opening a package that had piled up with mail during her recent trip to her native Hungary when it exploded, killing her
Authorities say it was a targeted bombing meant for the 48-year-old spa operator – ‘Krajnyak was the intended recipient of an explosive package,’ – investigators
A mother and daughter from Hungary both clients of Krajnyak’s were seriously injured and had to undergo surgery
Her ex-boyfriend and a partner in the business, Beal, called in to check on her when he saw the news reports
At the urging of his current girlfriend investment banker turned actor Beal, 59, phoned police and then let them search his house
Cops allegedly, found more than 45 kilograms of explosive material at his Long beach, Calif., home
He was charged Thursday with possessing an unregistered destructive device
The model rocket hobbyist, says he’s not made any bombs and did not have material for an explosion as powerful as the one he saw in news coverage
Ildiko Krajnyak was opening a package that had piled up with mail during her recent trip to her native Hungary when it exploded, killing her on Tuesday May 15, in Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Southern California spa owner Ildiko Krajnyak, was opening a package that had piled up with mail during her recent trip to her native Hungary when it exploded.
News reports of the blast quickly reached Stephen Beal, her ex-boyfriend and a partner in the Southern California business.
At the urging of his new girlfriend, Beal phoned police and then let them search his house.
Police on Wednesday searched Beal’s Long Beach home on warrants involved in Ildiko Krajnyak’s death. They told neighbors to keep a distance during their search in case of explosion.They found more than 45 kilograms of explosive material – two improvised explosive devices, two handguns, a shotgun, chemical precursors and component parts of IEDs, according to the court filing.
Ildiko Krajnyak and Stephen Beal are shown in a photo posted on Beal’s Facebook on March 23, 2018.
Beal was charged Thursday with possessing an unregistered destructive device.
While not charged with the fatal explosion, the arrest puts Beal in custody as authorities investigate what they believe was a targeted bombing.
Beal, a model rocket hobbyist, told investigators he had not made any bombs and did not have material for an explosion as powerful as the one he saw in news coverage.
Beal, 59, did not enter a plea during his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana and his case was continued to Monday. His public defender refused to comment.
The criminal complaint was accompanied by an affidavit from an FBI special agent that briefly described the relationship between Beal and Krajnyak, as well as the grisly blast.
The two had met online in June 2016 and dated about a year and a half. Photos on his Facebook page showed them living it up in far-flung places: a beach in Cuba, restaurants in Portugal, and riding jet skis in Mexico.
Agents search Beal’s property on Wednesday. They took away 100 lbs of explosive devices
They remained business partners, with Beal serving as spa manager, and the two operated a separate cosmetics firm. State records show Beal and Krajnyak were officers in a skin care business called I&S Enterprises.
First responders investigate the scene of an explosion in Aliso Viejo, Orange County Calif., on May 15
Carnage: The building after the explosion at a spa in Aliso Viejo, Calif., Tuesday, May 15
Stephen Beal told authorities he hadn’t been involved with rockets since 2004. He said he had once made fireworks and mortars, but quit that after Sept. 11 because he said he “did not want to give the wrong impression.”
When confronted with photos of the IEDs recovered, Beal initially denied recognizing them but later explained exactly where they were found.
“Beal also claimed that he had not made any bombs or anything that would catch on or cause fire,” sources said.
Beal’s wife died in 2008 and his adult children had moved out of the house, Young said. Beal seemed happier after meeting Krajnyak and spoke of her frequently.
“I think he was happy to have found someone he could connect with,” said Young, who never met Krajnyak.