Father, 2-Year-Old Son Among Dead in 'Crazy' Pa. Car Blast

It's still not clear what happened in Allentown
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 1, 2018 5:15 PM CDT
Father, His Toddler Son Among Dead in 'Crazy' Pa. Car Blast
Authorities investigate the scene of Saturday's fatal car explosion in Allentown, Pa., Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Authorities said Monday that the three people who died in a car explosion in downtown Allentown, including a father and his toddler son, all knew each other, but the cause of the Saturday night explosion remained under investigation. The Lehigh County coroner identified the three dead as Jacob Schmoyer, 26, and his 2-year-old son Jonathan Schmoyer, as well as David Hillman, 66—who was a friend of the older Schmoyer, authorities said. Don Robinson, special agent in charge with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, declined to talk about a possible motive or a cause of the explosion, the AP reports. "Obviously we are dealing with an explosion—that could be anything from an accident to a device, an explosive device," Robinson said Monday.

But on Sunday, District Attorney James Martin had told reporters at a news conference that he believed there had been a crime. "We know there's been a criminal incident," District Attorney James Martin said at a news conference Sunday. "We have a high degree of confidence that the perpetrator was probably killed in the incident." Martin did not speak at the press conference Monday, and it was unclear whether ATF investigators believed either man had purposely caused the explosion. Investigators returned to the area of the explosion early Monday with about 30 of them combing the scene, most of them from the ATF. Some wore hazmat suits. Authorities released no information about the possible cause of the blast, including whether it was a bomb, but Martin said "loads of us in law enforcement" are confident "this was A. an isolated incident and B. there's no continuing threat."

(Read more explosion stories.)

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