Allentown Car Explosion: Letters Indicate Victim Deliberately Set Off Blast, Source Says

October 4, 2018

Allentown Car Explosion: Autopsies On Victims Set For Today

A source says Jacob Schmoyer sent letters to his family and Allentown police that indicate he used an explosive to deliberately kill himself, his son Jonathan and acquaintance David Hallman. The information about the letters, obtained from someone with knowledge of the contents, emerged after an exhaustive investigation of the Saturday blast on Turner Street, which displaced every resident between Seventh and Eighth streets and damaged several buildings to the point where they are uninhabitable. Officials will update the investigation at a news conference in the Allentown City Hall council chamber at 11:30 a.m. ATF Special Agent Charlene Hennessy would not confirm the contents of the letters. “Information pertaining to the letters Jacob Schmoyer sent and their content will be disseminated at the press conference,” she said in an email. Surveillance video viewed by The Morning Call on Wednesday showed Hallman, 66, who lived just doors from the scene, getting into Schmoyer’s car. About two seconds after he shuts the door, the Nissan explodes into a fireball. The letters to Schmoyer’s grandmother and the Allentown police were dated Sept. 29, the day of the blast, and arrived Wednesday. Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim ruled all three died of traumatic injuries in the explosion, but has not yet ruled on the manner of death that could be homicide, suicide or undetermined. As of Wednesday afternoon, police said some residents will now be able to start returning to their homes, but must check in with an officer on the perimeter of the blocked-off area. Assistant Chief Gail Struss of the Allentown police said the owners of a handful of homes heavily damaged by the explosion may not be able to return for several days. daniel.sheehan@mcall.com Twitter @lvstories 610-820-6598

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