Explosion Kills Spa Owner in Aliso Viejo



An aesthetician was killed and three clients injured in an explosion within an Aliso Viejo cul de sac of dental and medical offices Tuesday, May 15, during business hours.

Sheriff’s deputies, who served search warrants in Trabuco Canyon and Long Beach in connection with the inquiry, announced Thursday, May 17, the arrest of Stephen Beal, 59, of Long Beach, on suspicion of being in possession of an unregistered destructive device. Authorities said Beal is not being charged in connection with the Aliso Viejo explosion, under investigation as a criminal offense.

Sheriff’s deputies identified the victim as Ildiko Krajnyak, 40, of Trabuco Canyon, the owner of the aesthetician practice. Two of those injured in the blast underwent surgery and are expected to survive, while a third was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and released, Undersheriff Don Barnes said this week.

FBI spokesman Paul Delacorte said there have been no claims of responsibility for the explosion that took place on the ground floor office at 11 Mareblu and no indication there are other devices in the area. “We do not believe this to be an accident,” Barnes said.

Delacorte declined to identify the nature of components recovered from the scene, except to say they were inconsistent with the business. The components were sent for analysis to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Va., he said.

Criminal investigators are trying to determine a motive and how the bomb arrived at the location, Barnes said.

Businesses around 11 Mareblu remained closed at midweek even as some patients and clients returned to the area. Sheriff’s deputies escorted them to retrieve their cars, which they were forced to leave behind when the area was evacuated following the explosion.

“I thought it was the marine layer,” said Marianne Besseling, of Laguna Woods, who encountered a debris cloud from the explosion that still hung in the air as she arrived with a friend for a 1:20 p.m. dental appointment on Tuesday. “The first police arrived with us,” said Besseling, whose dental x-rays were halted when the building and others, including nearby Academy on the Hills preschool, were ordered to be evacuated.

Besseling returned to the area with a friend Wednesday to pick up her car.

The victim of the explosion operated the business Magyar Kozemetika, which offered lash extensions and facials. One client described herself in a Facebook post as a 20-year patron.

Property records show Jack R. Barnes of Mission Viejo has owned the building since 1990.


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