SYDNEY — An Australian man was arrested Tuesday in the Unites States in connection with a fake bomb strapped around the neck of a Sydney schoolgirl, police said.
New South Wales state detectives said the 50-year-old was taken into custody in Louisville, Kentucky, in an operation assisted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The arrest came after Madeleine Pulver, 18, a member of one of Sydney’s wealthiest families, endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal earlier this month when a masked man strapped a device around her neck at her home.
A note was left at the scene and police treated it as an extortion attempt in an incident that enthralled the nation.
“Over the course of the last three or four days, NSW police, working closely with the FBI, identified the man and confirmed he travelled to the United States in the last few days,” said NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione.
“A male was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed in Louisville.”
The man, who police said had indirect links to the Pulver family but was not known to them, will appear in a local court as Australia seeks his extradition, with police adding that it was too early to say what the motive had been.
At the time of the incident, police described the collar bomb as “a very, very elaborate hoax”.