The owners of a Louisiana horse farm awoke to an explosion just beneath their bed last week after police say their employee planted a bomb under their bedroom.
Tracy Hewlett, her husband and their cat and dogs managed to walk away uninjured Monday thanks to their "Christmas miracle" before authorities pointed the finger at farm maintenance worker Douglas Holley.
But even after getting the startling news that 54-year-old Holley--who lives on the Hewlett's property--was the suspect, the family said they felt sorry for the man.
Hewlett told the Associated Press that she and her husband, Bobby Hewlett, think he must be mentally ill.
"He's just ruined his life," Tracy Hewlett said.
Holley has worked on the 280-acre Holly Hill Farm Equestrian Center for about four years. According to the Shreveport Times, he was initially arrested on Saturday on weapons charges and an outstanding Caddo warrant.
Multiple agencies continued to investigate and a search of Holly's home revealed materials to make explosives, detectives said.
As a maintenance man, Holley reportedly had access to the Hewlett's home. The couple was visiting their son in Australia for a week and returned Friday.
According to the AP, they awoke around 3:30 a.m. Saturday "still on Australian time" and were trying to get back to sleep when "there was a big flash of light, and both of us went flying" Tracy Hewlett said.
Lt. Bill Davis, spokesman for the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office, told the AP the explosion left a basketball-sized hole in the hardwood floor.
Hewlett could not think of a reason Holley might have to harm the, but said that some of her employees told her Holley "had said some odd things to them. Just all this anti-government stuff, something about witchcraft. Really bizarre things."
Holley is in the custody of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Department and has been charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder and manufacturing a bomb.
It was not immediately clear if Holley has an attorney or has yet entered a plea.