With the assistance of an FBI SWAT team, two Australian police officers descended on the La Grange, Kentucky home of Paul Peters’s estranged wife and took Peters into custody on Monday. A next door neighbour, who refused to give his name, told The Associated Press that his two daughters were at home doing homework when the FBI Swat team “came in heavy and hard” to the house next door. “We had guys with machine guns in our back yard,” he said, adding that no shots were fired and no sirens sounded.
Less than two hours later, local police in Australia raided a south-western Sydney property linked to Mr Peters.
Peters, a 51-year-old Australian businessman, was expected to be charged with breaking and entering, kidnapping and demanding property with menace in an elaborate extortion attempt that had 18-year-old school girl Madeleine Pulver fearing for her life.
In federal court in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday, US Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin ordered that he be held in custody until his extradition hearing on 14 October.
Peters capture comes nearly two weeks after 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver was attacked in the wealthy suburb of Mosman in Sydney, Australia. Pulver was alone studying for exams when a masked man broke into the house in the middle of the day, chained a device that looked like a bomb to her and left a note with demands before leaving.
Pulver spent 10 terrifying hours chained to the device before the bomb squad was able to free her. She was not hurt, and the device was later found to contain no explosives.