Police: Man targeted 4-year-old with explosive device

May 6, 2015 1:03 PM by News Staff

A Sacramento County man has been arrested by Chico police for allegedly trying to kill his ex-girlfriend's four-year-old son after a failed relationship.

William Brainard, 59, was arrested at his home in Sacramento County Monday following a nearly three month investigation into a Chico house fire.

On February 18, 2015, the Chico Fire Department responded to a house fire on the 100 block of Losse Way. After knocking down the flames, investigators found a hand crafted explosive device that had been detonated using gasoline.

The residents, a man and his four-year-old son were able to escape the incident uninjured.

Chico police took over the investigation, which led them to the four-year-old's mother who lived in Sacramento County. Following an interview with the woman's mother, her ex-boyfriend, William Brainard was identified as a suspect.

Chico detectives spent the next two months executing search warrants related to the case, and discovered physical evidence linking Brainard to the explosion, including surveillance video showing him purchase the items used to construct the bomb.

Brainard was arrested at his house in Orangevale Monday and then transported to the Butte County Jail Tuesday. He is facing attempted murder charges and an arson charge.

Chico police say Brainard set off the device targeting the four-year-old to retaliate against the boy's mom for their failed relationship.

Brainard is in custody with bail set at $1.3 million.

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