Feds seek leads, raise reward in car bombing case

By Ed White

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Federal authorities doubled the reward and pleaded with the public for help last Thursday to try to solve the bombing of a lawyer's car last fall in southeastern Michigan.

The bomb attached to the bottom of Erik Chappell's Volvo had components from an Electrix remote-controlled toy vehicle, the government said, releasing that detail for the first time since the September attack.

Chappell has said he believes he knows who's responsible, but no arrests have been made. Some people have been scratched off a list while others remain persons of interest, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.

Agents are seeking a "jewel of information that can put us over the top," said David McCain, head of the ATF in Detroit.

"We have leads, but we need more leads," he said at a news conference, raising the reward for critical information to $20,000 from $10,000.

Chappell and two sons were injured when the bomb exploded while they were riding on a road in Monroe, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit. Chappell lives near Monroe, near the Michigan-Ohio border, and practices law in both states.

McCain declined to say whether agents believe the bomb was activated by remote control. He described it as a "sophisticated" device built by someone with experience with electronics.

McCain said the bomber's attitude is, "I don't get mad. I get even." Chappell, who didn't attend the news conference, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the ATF's remarks.

McCain said it's possible that someone may have aided the bomber without knowing about the "far more dangerous" plot to kill Chappell.

"If you have direct knowledge of this case and fear for your safety, we can protect you," McCain said.

"Generally, authorities have shown leniency to those who have involvement in a criminal act and come forward with information."


The ATF can be reached at (888) 283-2662 or ATFtips@atf.gov.

Published: Mon, Mar 19, 2012