Entries in Madeleine Pulver (5)


'Collar Bomb' Suspect Overlooked Detail that Led to His Arrest

Paul Douglas Peters is now in federal custody after he was arrested by an FBI SWAT team in La Grange, Ky. (Oldham County Jail)(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- The man who terrified an Australian teenager by placing a fake bomb around her neck inadvertently left a clue to his identity on a memory stick that included his demand for money, according to court papers released Tuesday.

A note left around the neck of 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver contained a cryptic email address and directions to contact the address for instructions on how to transfer a "defined sum" of money in order to get free of the bomb.

Attached to the fake bomb was a USB stick that included duplicates of the demand letter.

The email address and the "Paul P" identification would eventually lead police to the arrest of Paul Douglas Peters, 50, in Louisville, Ky., on Monday as the alleged collar bomb suspect.

After leaving the Pulver house in Mosman, a wealthy suburb of Sydney, the intruder checked the email address three times in two locations, a public library and a video store. Security camera footage showed a Range Rover at both of these locations and a gray-haired man in a button down and beige trousers that matched Pulver's description of her assailant.

The "Peter P" computer identification allowed police to limit the search for the owner of the Range Rover and track down Paul Douglas Peters who left Australia on Aug. 8 with a one-way ticket to Chicago.

Peters' credit card trail from the purchases of the USB stick, stationary, lanyard for the USB stick and a baseball bat that he used to threaten Pulver led investigators to Deborah Lee Peters, his ex-wife living in La Grange, Ky.

It was at her home that an FBI SWAT team arrested Paul Peters on Monday.

The connection between Douglas and the Pulver family is still unclear.

"The police have obtained information that Paul Douglas Peters was formerly employed by a company with which the victim's family has links," said the court document.

An official at the Department of Justice said Peters is an attorney in good standing in Australia and an investment banker.

Peters made his first appearance in federal court in Louisville on Tuesday for his arraignment. He is being held in the United States until his is eventually extradited to Australia.

Peters has been charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit a serious indictable offense, demanding property by force with intent to steal, and kidnapping.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Australian Collar Bomb Hoax: Family Speaks Following Arrest

The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images(SYDNEY) -- The family of the 18-year-old Australian girl who had a fake explosive device attached to her neck in an extortion attempt said they are greatly relieved after an Australian man was arrested in connection with the incident halfway around the world.

Paul Douglas Peters is now in federal custody after he was arrested by an FBI SWAT team in La Grange, Kentucky, 30 miles northwest of Louisville.  Two police officers from New South Wales were present at the time of the arrest.

At a press conference on Monday, William Pulver, the father of the victim Madeleine Pulver, made a statement on behalf of his daughter and their family.

"We are enormously relieved that an arrest has been made in the United States overnight.  These past two weeks have been a very difficult time for us, and we hope that this development makes the beginning of the end for our family," he said, adding that the family will not be making any further immediate comment.

Sydney police say they identified Peters, an Australian who does business around the world, as the suspect last week and immediately contacted the FBI.

"Over the course of the last three or four days, the New South Wales police have been working very closely with the FBI in the U.S. The offender in this matter was identified and it was confirmed that he traveled to the United States in recent days," Andrew Sciopone, the New South Wales police commissioner in Sydney, said.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, was stunned when officers descended on the home.

"We looked outside and we saw a SWAT team with the machine guns and battle helmets circling the house, and we had no idea what was going on," the neighbor said.

FBI agents searched the house for most of Monday afternoon and night after arresting 50-year-old Peters, according to ABC News affiliate WHAS-11 in Louisville.  Peters was living in Kentucky with his American ex-wife.

Police said that Peters does have family connections in the Louisville area and has previously lived in the United States. They said that he has been employed in several countries and has had history in several types of business.

The hunt for Peters began on Aug. 3 when the home of William Pulver, a wealthy CEO of an information technology company, was invaded by an intruder. Pulver's 18-year-old daughter Madeleine was studying for final exams when, according to New South Wales police, a man entered the home and attached the device to the girl's neck, along with a list of demands.

Madeleine Pulver spent 10 hours attached to the device before explosives experts determined to be fake. During the bomb scare, she was kept calm by four police officers inside the family home while her upscale neighborhood was evacuated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Australia Collar Bomb Hoax: FBI Arrests Man in Kentucky

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- U.S. officials have made an arrest in the case of a mysterious intruder who attached an alleged "collar bomb" to an 18-year-old girl in a wealthy suburb of Sydney, Australia.

Justice Department officials confirm that the FBI has made an arrest in Kentucky in connection with the Aug. 3 incident, in which Madeleine Pulver, the daughter of a cyber executive, spent 10 hours attached to the device before it was determined to be fake.

Australian media is reporting that the suspect is 52 and was arrested in a suburb of Louisville, Ky. On Aug. 3, an intruder in the Pulver home in Mosman, New South Wales, Australia attached the bomb to Madeline Pulver's body. Her father is the chief executive of a software company called Appen Butler Hill that specializes in voice recognition software, fueling speculation that she was the victim of an attempted extortion plot.

New South Wales state Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said at the time that the motive was a mystery. "You would hardly think that someone would go to this much trouble if there wasn't a motive behind it," said Murdoch.

At around 2:30 p.m., police said, they went to the home in response to a call from an 18-year-old girl. There, a police bomb squad examined a suspicious device near the woman.

Four officers, including bomb specialists and police negotiators, were inside the house with the teenager to keep her calm as they examined the device.

The exclusive neighborhood was evacuated during the ordeal and people were told to stay away.

While the situation may be a first for Australia, similar scenarios have made news and found their way into popular culture in the United States.

In 2003, a Pennsylvania pizza delivery man named Brian Wells was involved in a bomb plot and bank robbery that resulted in his own death. Wells thought he was an accomplice of the men planning the bank robbery and that the device strapped to him would be a fake.

Wells was instructed to rob the bank and tell police that the device was forced onto him and that he was a hostage. However, the bomb turned out to be real and killed Wells when it detonated.

A similar story, in the form of a Hollywood comedy, was released to U.S. movie theaters on Friday. The film 30 Minutes or Less stars The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza boy who is kidnapped by two criminals who strap a bomb to him and tell him to rob a bank or else they will kill him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


No Explosives Found in Device Attached to Australian Teen

Agri Press/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- The suspicious device that appeared to threaten a trapped 18-year-old woman in Australia for more than 10 hours on Wednesday was not a bomb, police said.

New South Wales state Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch told Australia's 2GB radio station that, "In the end it turned out to be no explosive."

The object was either placed near the teen -- identified in media reports as Madeleine Pulver -- or attached to her body, but police have not yet made that information public.

The victim, Madeleine Pulver, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, is the daughter of wealthy businessman William Pulver. That has fueled speculation that the situation was an attempted extortion plot, but police will not comment on those reports.

Pulver is a student at the Wenona girls school in North Sydney, Australia, according to the paper.

Police called the object "very elaborate, very sophisticated." Police are looking for a person they believe planted the device. The girl lives in one of Sydney's wealthier neighborhoods.

Police would not comment on reports that the item was a collar bomb strapped around the teenager's neck or on reports that a man wearing a balaclava reportedly entered her house and attached a device to her body.

Police said the motive is a mystery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Australian Bomb Collar Victim Saved, Reunited with Parents

Agri Press/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The 18-year-old daughter of an Australian millionaire was the victim of a “bomb collar” early Wednesday morning.

Police sources said the bomb was attached to the neck of Madeleine Pulver, 18, with a note demanding money from her father William Pulver, the CEO of an international software company.

Nearby homes were evacuated and surrounding streets closed off while bomb squad experts helped extricate the young woman. Earlier, Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch had described the situation as a "very serious and sensitive matter".

It has been confirmed that Madeleine has been reunited with her parents and a press conference is expected.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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