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Authorities: Neck bomb suspect told girl 'count to 200'

A man arrested in Kentucky after allegedly chaining a fake bomb to an Australian teenager's neck told her to "count to 200," according to court documents.
/ Source: staff and news service reports

A man arrested in Kentucky after allegedly chaining a fake bomb to an Australian teenager's neck told her to "count to 200" and warned "I'll be back," according to court documents made public Tuesday.

An arrest complaint against Paul "Doug" Peters, 50, was unsealed in a U.S. federal court in Kentucky, following his arrest Monday by the FBI at the home of his ex-wife in a Louisville suburb.

The complaint says the teenager, Madeleine Pulver, 18, was studying for her high school certificate exams in her home in the wealthy Sydney suburb of Mosman, when he walked into her bedroom with a baseball bat and wearing a balaclava.

The complaint says he attached the fake bomb to her and told her: "Count to 200 ... I'll be back ... if you move I can see you I'll be right here."

Australian authorities have said they believe the device was part of an extortion plot.

Peters faces charges in Australia that include kidnapping and breaking and entering, Luke Moore of the New South Wales Police said.

In court Tuesday, the judge ordered Peters to be detained and set an extradition hearing for Oct. 14.

Court document also revealed that authorities had used an email account to track down Peters.

His capture came nearly two weeks

Like a 'Hollywood script'Bomb technicians, negotiators and detectives rushed to the scene. Neighboring homes were evacuated, streets were closed and medical and fire crews waited nearby.

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.

Australia's prime minister said the event resembled "a Hollywood script."

Moore, of the New South Wales Police, flew from Sydney to Louisville for the arrest, but would not go into detail about what led police to Peters.

"There was a range of pieces of evidence that led us to identify this suspect," he said at a news conference at FBI offices in Louisville.

Peters had been staying at the home of his former wife outside La Grange, Kentucky, about 25 miles northeast of Louisville, the FBI said.

Peters is an Australian citizen but has lived in the U.S., including in Kentucky.

The Pulvers were relieved to hear of the arrest.

Bill Pulver, CEO of an information technology company, described his daughter as "a bright, happy young woman who for reasons we still don't understand had her life turned upside down going through this dreadful experience."

"These past two weeks have been a very difficult time for us and we are hopeful that this development marks the beginning of the end of this traumatic ordeal for our family," he told reporters in Sydney, his wife Belinda at his side.

"This has been a baffling and frightening experience," he added. "It has tested us all."

Bill Pulver (R), accompanied by his wife Belinda (L), speaks at a press conference in Sydney on August 16, 2011 following the announcement of the arrest of an Australian man in the United States in connection with a fake bomb strapped around the neck their daughter Madeleine. The arrest came after Madeleine Pulver, 18, endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal earlier this month when a masked man strapped a device around her neck at the families Sydney home. AFP PHOTO / Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)Greg Wood / AFP

'No direct links'An FBI investigator combed through items on shelves Monday night in the neat three-car garage of the five-bedroom, two-story home that's on the market for $400,000.

Moore said there is no indication Peters' ex-wife was involved in the case. She was not home when her ex-husband was arrested.

Authorities are still investigating why the suspect targeted the young woman, Moore said.

"There are some links between the suspect and the family, however no direct links," said New South Wales assistant police commissioner Dave Hudson at an earlier press conference in Sydney. "That's still a matter of investigation."

Australia's Tuesday that the Pulver family owns a vacation home at Avoca Beach north of Sydney, just minutes from Copacabana, where Peters is believed to live.

Both Peters and Pulver both worked throughout Asia and in New York, the Daily Telegraph reported. The paper also said a company where Peters was reportedly a director had offices in north Sydney, where Pulver's company is located.

The victim's family was based in New York for a few years from 2002 when Bill Pulver was president and chief executive of NetRatings, an audience ratings company.

SWAT team raidThe normally tranquil subdivision of La Grange was taken aback at the sight of armed SWAT members descending on their neighborhood.

A neighbor who refused to give his name told The Associated Press that his two daughters were at home doing homework when the SWAT team "came in heavy and hard" to the house next door.

"We had guys with machine guns in our backyard," he said.

No shots were fired and no sirens sounded, he said.

He and his wife estimated that Doug Peters had probably spent about six months out of the last two years at the house. They didn't know him or his ex-wife very well but there were no problems and they were both congenial neighbors.

Peters had been involved in various businesses, but authorities would not elaborate on what they were.