Ex-Boyfriend of Woman Killed in Spa Blast Liked Making 'Model Rockets'

May 17, 2018 - 5:55 pm

ALISO VIEJO (KNX1070/AP) - UPDATE:  Investigators say they found multiple IEDs and bomb making materials at the ex-boyfriend's home of a woman who was killed by an explosive device Tuesday. The FBI says Stephen Beal was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an unregistered destructive device but he  has not been charged in connection with the explosion. His home in Long Beach has been searched and boxes of possible evidence were taken away.  According to court documents, Beal claims he used to make model rockets but FBI investigators say the IEDs and explosive materials found at his home are not consistent with that of a model rocket.

One of his neighbors, "Mushroom" Montoya, told reporters he was shocked at Beal's arrest.

"We can't fathom he would do anything mean, or nasty, or anything else," Montoya said. "He used to make rockets about as big as I am. He would do it in the driveway by his garage. He'd go out to the desert and fire them off.

A neighbor tells CBS-2 the man said he still had connections to the woman even though they'd broken-up.

A GoFundMePage has been set up for Krajnyak

The FBI said it is a difficult crime scene and the investigation could last several days. Multiple agencies and bomb technicians are working at the scene. 

 The ATF and Homeland Security was also investigating. 

A neighbor who would only identify herself as Tiffany told The Associated Press that Krajnyak lived with her husband and her mother and has a son at Washington State University. The neighbor said Krajnyak and her husband were separated but still living in the same house. The neighbor said Krajnyak was her mother's caretaker and describes the husband as a massage therapist and nice man. 

Two other people, believed to be patrons, suffered injuries which required surgery and are expected to survive. A third person was treated for smoke inhalation.

In the early morning hours Wednesday, FBI investigators began searching a home in Trabuco Canyon were Krajnyak was believed to have been living with her estranged husband. The couple were in the process of losing the home to foreclosure, according to court records.

Firefighters initially put out a fire, then a Haz-mat team, bomb squad and eventually the FBI began the investigation. 

The 2-story building is at 11 Mareblu and close to a preschool that was evacuated.

By 3:30 p.m. Haz-mat authorities said there were no further threats of gas leaks or other explosions.  Listen to KNX for updates

"The corner of that building, the whole bottom floor is pretty much blown out," Orange County Fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said.

The cause of the blast remained a mystery for much of the day, with officials initially believing a car had smashed into the building. But sheriff's officials said the size of the blast made it suspicious.

First reports said that a car had crashed into the building, but that has been ruled out.

Children from neighboring Academy on the Hills, a Montessori private preschool located at 10 Mareblu, were evacuated from the building, some of whom were still being transported in their cribs.

Parents were asked to pick them up in the parking lot of the nearby Target store on La Paz Road.

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