UPDATE: Paul Peters had been posing as a wealthy retiree and would-be author while living in Australia. But he’d apparently run out of money and decided to target the Pulvers. Detectives say he just made one very big mistake. See update after the jump…
Madeleine was home alone at the Pulvers’ suburban Sydney home when Peters broke in and chained a fake bomb around her neck
alone in her family’s home in an exclusive suburb of Sydney, Australia.
A masked man broke in and attacked her. He chained a bomb collar to her
neck, then left an extortion note for the girl’s father, Bill Pulver.
Two weeks ago, 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver was studying
He’s the CEO of an Australian tech company. Though police have been tight-lipped, it seems the masked man was hoping to take some money off Pulver in exchange for not detonating the bomb around his daughter’s neck.
Police were called in and the neighborhood was evacuated. It would take them 10 hours to defuse the weapon, only to find out that the bomb was fake.
Paul “Doug” Peters, 50 (pictured top), was arrested at his ex-wife’s home in La Grange, Kentucky, where he’d apparently fled after the extortion attempt. He’s being held for extradition back to Australia, where he faces charges of kidnapping and breaking and entering.
Police aren’t saying much about the case. They’ll only describe it as an extortion attempt, but they’re not saying how their investigation led to Peters.
Peters, the former managing director of a financial company in Hong Kong and Malaysia, apparently left fingerprints all over his fake bomb. Police also discovered a computer left at a cafe not far from the Pulver home.
He’s an Australian citizen who’s spent time in America, and previously lived in Kentucky. He’s also said to have frequently traveled to America on business.
After his arrest last night, detectives were combing through his ex-wife’s $400,000 home, which includes five bedrooms and a three-car garage. It doesn’t appear that she had any involvement in the case.
When Paul Peters chained a fake bomb to Madeleine Pulver’s neck, he made a major mistake by leaving an email account to contact him
UPDATE: Peters was traced through an email he left on his ransom note.
Peters took on the air of a wealthy retiree during the past few years in Australia. He drove a Range Rover and told his landlord he was writing a novel before he planned to retire in a Bahamas.
But he’d apparently run short of money, so he decided to target the Pulvers for an extortion plot.
Police still don’t seem to know why he picked the family, but he made a very major mistake. On his ransom note, he left the email address [email protected] as a way to contact him.
Detectives found that the address had been created at a Chicago airport in May. Travel documents showed Peters in the airport that same day.
On the afternoon of the attack, someone checked the account three times — once at a library and twice at a video store that allows customers to use the internet. All three times surveillance cameras caught Peters and his Range Rover.
They were able to trace him through his license plate.
See our last story from the Kidnapping file: Tiffany Knight Lured Teen Girls Into Gang Rape By Three Men.