LOS ANGELES | APNewsBreak: Man arrested in California blast that killed ex

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California man was arrested Sunday in connection with an explosion that killed his ex-girlfriend at her day spa last year, the FBI said.

Stephen Beal, who was released last year after his arrest on an explosives charge, was arrested Sunday in connection with the May 15 bombing that killed Ildiko Krajnyak in her Orange County spa, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

She declined to detail the charges against Beal but said they were in connection with the blast and that the FBI was searching his Long Beach home.

Following the explosion last year, Beal was arrested on suspicion of having explosives but prosecutors dropped the charge soon after, saying they had questions about whether material found in Beal’s house met the legal definition of a “destructive device.”

At the time, investigators said they found two improvised explosive devices, three firearms and more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of explosive material during a search that Beal allowed of his house.

After prosecutors dropped the charge, Beal was freed and wasn’t named a suspect.

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.

Krajnyak, 48, was killed and two female clients were seriously injured when she opened a box that erupted in a fiery explosion at the spa in the city of Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles (81 kilometers) south of Los Angeles, investigators said.

Beal told investigators that he and Krajnyak had recently split up over issues of exclusivity and finances, according to an affidavit filed in court by an FBI agent. The two remained business partners.

Krajnyak, a mother and licensed cosmetologist, had just returned to California after visiting family in her native Hungary when she was killed.


By AMANDA LEE MYERS and MICHAEL BALSAMO , Associated Press