December 29, 1996 in Nation/World

Bomb That Injured Girl Still Mystery Background Checks Turn Up Nothing To Explain Package

 

Four days after a 10-year-old girl was injured by a package bomb in upstate New York, law enforcement investigators said Saturday that they were continuing to pursue leads in the case but had turned up nothing.

On Christmas Eve, the girl, Jordan Reardon of Clifton Park, was hurt when a package she was opening in her family’s kitchen exploded. The package had been retrieved from her family’s mailbox.

Working on a tip, state police officers searched a house in Troy, N.Y., on Thursday, where they uncovered a small arsenal, including 10 rifles, 6 handguns and a live pipe bomb, but they said Saturday that the two cases seemed unrelated. The owner of the house was not at home when the officers conducted their search, Maj. Peter Lawrence of the state police said.

“We don’t think that it has anything to do with it,” Maj. Lawrence said. “Our investigation doesn’t give us any reason to believe the two are connected, but we have not discounted it. We are looking into that possibility.”

State and federal investigators have also conducted full background checks on Jude and Mary Reardon, the parents of the girl, on their relatives, and on present and past employers and colleagues, going back about 10 years. And investigators have looked into other recent package bombings, including one that took place last week involving a lawyer in Santa Cruz, Calif., to see if they could find any link.

“We have found nothing that we would consider to be connected to this incident,” Lawrence said. “We’re desperately looking for a motive or some kind of physical evidence, desperately. We’re working very hard.”

Jordan is listed in good condition at Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., where she is recovering from burns and cuts.

The box had no wrapping and the authorities have not released any information on what kind of bomb it was, other than to say it was sophisticated. They also have not said whether it was mailed or simply placed inside the mailbox. The police have said that while the motive was unclear, the package was unmistakably addressed to the Reardons.

“We’re considering every scenario we can possibly think of,” Lawrence said. “We can’t rule anything out. Everyone is a suspect and everything is evidence.”

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