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Car bomb in Michigan: Victims expected to recover

Car bomb: Investigators haven't determined if Erik Chappell, who is a lawyer, or one of his family members was the intended target of the attack

By Jeff KaroubAssociated Press / September 22, 2011

In this Tuesday, Sept. 20 photo, a Monroe firefighter sprays water on a burning car on Elm Street in Monroe, Mich. A car bomb caused a powerful explosion on a street in southeastern Michigan, seriously injuring a lawyer and his two sons, who are 'very fortunate' to have survived an attack that turned their vehicle into a blackened hunk of metal, officials said Wednesday.

Shawn Remington/AP

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DETROIT

A woman whose husband and two sons were injured when their car was destroyed by abomb says all three of her family members are doing well and expected to fully recover, the principal of the boys' school said.

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In a letter to parents posted Wednesday on the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School website, Principal Michelle Sontag said she has spoken twice to Maureen Chappell since the explosion on a Monroe street that injured Chappell's husband and sons, who are students at the school.

Chappell said her husband, Erik, and sons are "in good spirits" and expected to fully recover, and she asked people to pray for her family's healing and comfort, Sontag wrote.

Police early Wednesday said the three were rushed to a hospital in Toledo, Ohio, where they were listed in serious condition, but a spokeswoman for Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center said Thursday afternoon said the victims had not been admitted there. Messages left Thursday with local and federal officials seeking clarification were not immediately returned.

Investigators haven't determined if Erik Chappell, who is a lawyer, or one of his family members was the intended target of the attack, said Donald Dawkins, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is leading the investigation and working with state and local police.

Investigators were following up on numerous leads on Thursday, but they hadn't identified a suspect, Dawkins told The Associated Press. Fragments of the bomb that turned the Chappell's Volvo into a blackened hulk of metal were being sent for forensic examination at the ATF's national laboratory in Washington, D.C., he said.

Erik Chappell's firm, Lyden Liebenthal & Chappell, Ltd., has declined to comment about the attack. Chappell's profile on the firm's website says he primarily handles business litigation in Ohio, Michigan and federal courts, but also handles family law and real estate law cases, as well as construction disputes.

The Chappells live near Monroe in LaSalle Township, in a comfortable neighborhood on Lake Erie.

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