The son-in-law of an elderly couple that was killed in the Tennessee bombing on Monday has been charged with first degree murder. His bail was set at $1 million.
Investigators arrested 49-year-old Richard Parker and charged him with two counts of felony first-degree murder and two counts of felony premeditated murder in the deaths of Jon and Marion Setzer.
Parker is accused of planting a powerful bomb at the rural Tennessee residence’s mailbox on Monday.
Jon Setzer, 74, died Monday from injuries he sustained while opening the package as he was walking back in their house near Lebanon, about 30 miles east of Nashville, blowing out the windows in the home and critically injuring his wife.
Marion Setzer, 72, died Wednesday evening at Vanderbilt Hospital.
While investigators would not discuss a motive in the Tennessee bombing, Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said Parker lived directly behind his in-laws and shared a driveway with them, but shared few additional details.
Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said the man is the only suspect in the Setzer’s death.
“Right now we feel like we have the person responsible for committing this crime in custody,” he said.
Investigators in Tennessee found a note in the debris that may have been attached to the bomb, but police will not share any more details as to its contents.
“This is a very important piece of evidence, because now you may have handwriting,” said former ATF agent and bomb expert Joseph Vince.
Jon Setzer — who died instantly — picked up the package Monday from his mailbox, located about 200 yards outside from his home, authorities said, and they added the bomb was never handled by a mail carrier as was originally reported.
“With the house as well-built as it was, it had to be a huge explosion,” neighbor David Hughen told WTVF-TV adding the home built just four years ago. “It’s just a huge mystery that a terrible thing has happened to good people.”
“It doesn’t make sense at all,” family friend Ken Caldwell told CNN affiliate WTVF. “When I’ve heard it said that it was targeted, I thought, well, they must have targeted the wrong person.”
Other neighbors said the Tennessee bombing scared them and police were checking other mailboxes for similar devices.
By all accounts the late couple were the nicest of people and those who knew them are in shock over the horrible way in which they died.
The suspect in the Tennessee bombing was also involved in an arson case in 1993 for which he was convicted and served four years probation, according to the TBI.
[Image via Tennessee Bureau of Investigation]