The woman who died after an explosion of unknown origin went off in her Aliso Viejo business was an avid traveler dedicated to her work and family, those who knew her said Wednesday.
Ildiko Krajnyak, 48, died at the scene after the blast went off Tuesday afternoon inside a day spa she owned at 11 Mareblu, in a building that holds several other medical offices. A corner of the building had appeared to cave in, with siding blown off and windows shattered, due to the force of the explosion.
Three others were injured; two of them were customers of Krajnyak's, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Krajnyak's death is being investigated as a homicide, largely because the blast and her condition were so severe that it indicated a deliberate attack, Orange County sheriff's investigators said Wednesday.
Both federal and local officials are working to determine the exact nature of the explosion. But so far, they have only developed a working theory that it involved a device of some sort. A motive was also unknown.
Those who knew Krajnyak, a resident of Trabuco Canyon resident, were shocked to learn she would be targeted in such an attack.
“It’s hard to believe, actually. I know of no enemies," her neighbor Matt Johnson said. “I know she’s very hard-working, very busy.”
Irene White, a family friend, echoed that sentiment when she spoke to reporters after emerging from Krajnyak's home Wednesday afternoon.
“This is a complete shock to family and friends," she said. "We’re in full support of our public authorities to do their jobs in hopes of finding answers to many of the unanswered questions."
Krajnyak was a native of Hungary who had lived in Trabuco Canyon for about 15 years, sharing a home with her husband, son and mother, according to neighbors.
Friends said she was estranged from her husband but that the two still lived together got along. They also said she had been in a relationship with her day spa business partner, Steve Beal. But a neighbor of Beal's said the two broke up about a month ago.
Search warrants were served at Krajnyak's home, her day spa and Beal's residence in Long Beach on Wednesday as investigators probed her personal and financial relationships, the Times reported.
According to the Yelp page for her business, Magyar Kozmetika, Krajnyak performed a range of cosmetic services including waxing, facials and aging treatments. Nearly all of the 35 reviews the day spa received awarded it five stars, with one person giving it four.
The greeting on the business' answering machine on Wednesday said the office would be closed from May 5 until May 14. Krajnyak apparently returned to work on Tuesday, the day of the attack.
Krajnyak visited her home country frequently, neighbors said. One photo posted to her Facebook page on May 8 shows her standing outside the Hungarian salon where she learned to become an aesthetician 30 years ago.
Several other photos on the page show Krajnyak on trips both domestic and international. One posted earlier this month was tagged with Toronto Pearson International Airport and captioned, "#flyoholic."
But Krajnyak was dedicated to her family and work above all, those close to her said.
"She worked so, so hard, always trying to make money to support her family and sent her son to private school," one neighbor named Tiffany told the Times. "She would go on trips, come back home and 45 minutes later, walk back out, heading to work."
White also said that "family always came first for Ildiko" and that she "took great pride in finding beauty in everyone."
The couple's son, Keanu Laszlo Vestil, spoke to KTLA via FaceTime Wednesday morning, before his mother had officially been determined the person killed in the blast.
The University of Washington student expressed that he was in utter shock but mostly concerned for his grandmother, who relied on his mother as a caretaker. She suffers from poor health and suffered a heart attack the last time she was stressed, he said.
Vestil is now trying to find the money to travel back to California for his mother's memorial, according to a GoFundMe campaign.