California explosion victim found 'beauty in everyone'

The woman who was killed in a ...

Posted: May 18, 2018 10:24 AM
Updated: May 18, 2018 10:24 AM

The woman who was killed in a deadly explosion at a day spa in a California medical office building was kind and hardworking, had an infectious personality and cherished her family, neighbors and a family friend said.

Authorities said they believe Ildiko Krajnyak, 48, of Trabuco Canyon, died in the explosion Tuesday that also injured two patrons at the day spa she owned in Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles. A third person suffered smoke inhalation.

The explosion at the spa on the first floor was so powerful that it blew out walls and windows of the two-story building and caused the ground to shake in nearby structures, Orange County authorities said. A cardboard box exploded when Krajnyak opened it, a witness told authorities. The FBI said the blast was not an accident.

Inside Krajnyak's home, about 14 miles northeast of her business, one neighbor said Krajnyak's husband had been weeping.

Krajnyak was "a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend," said Irene White, a family friend who read a brief family statement scribbled on a yellow notepad.

As White read, she locked arms with Krajnyak's cousin, who stood silent, her face covered with grief.

White said family and friends were in shock over Krajnyak's sudden death.

Krajnyak always put her family first, White said. Neighbors said Krajnyak's college-aged son was away at school at the University of Washington in Seattle when he learned of the blast that killed his mother. He was devastated.

"She took great pride in finding beauty in everyone," White said.

Tiffany Hoskins-Tarachanowicz, a neighbor, said Krajnyak traveled often for her second job selling products for a cosmetic brand. When Krajnyak was home, she cared for her mother, who needed constant care, the neighbor said.

"She was best friends with her mother," Hoskins-Tarachanowicz said.

Krajnyak's Facebook page showed her enjoying life, taking trips to Seattle -- where she took a photo at a University of Washington Husky football game -- to Las Vegas, and to Hungary. One neighbor said Krajnyak mother is Hungarian.

In the photo from a trip to Hungary earlier this month, she posed in front of the business where she said she learned to become an aesthetician 30 years ago.

A voicemail message for the spa, Magyar Kozmetika, said that Tuesday would be Krajnyak's first day back from her trip.

Family and friends started a GoFundMe page to get Krajnyak's son, Keanu Vestil, 20, back home and to help with funeral expenses.

In a brief interview Thursday, Vestil told CNN affiliate KABC he was grateful for the outpouring of support.

"It's just all so sudden," he said. "A lot of this is still very raw, and still really hard to process for everybody."

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