|By Dave Goldiner, Daily News, New York|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
July 22, 2004 - Anti-terror investigators descended on the famed Opryland hotel in Nashville yesterday after an SUV exploded in the parking lot outside the famous country music resort in a blast heard for miles around.
Authorities suspect it was a homemade bomb that obliterated the Range Rover, throwing driver William Young from the sport-utility vehicle and killing him instantly.
The Tuesday night blast occurred a half mile from the main entrance of the 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and about 200 feet from a day care center that was closed for the night. Investigators from the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were sent to probe the blast, even though there was no obvious sign of a terror link. "Because this is one of the largest resorts in the country, we have to check," FBI agent Doug Riggin said.
Little was known about Young, 43, of Franklin, Tenn. He and his wife, Beverly, 41, declared bankruptcy in February 2003, but the lawyer who handled the papers said he can't remember much about the man. "No, I sure can't," said Robert Plummer.
Young's mother-in-law, Margaret Causey, 64, of Timmonsville, S.C., refused to comment.
Investigators are trying to determine if Young knew the bomb was on board the SUV and whether it was deliberately set off and by whom. Cops were searching the man's home yesterday.
"At this point, we just don't know," said Nashville police Detective Brad Putnam. "It could have been homicide or ...the guy may have just blown himself up."
People dropping kids off at La Petite Academy Kid Station, the day care center near where the SUV blew up, were shocked. The blast "does raise some concerns," Tonya McCoy said as she dropped off a nephew. "Anything that close makes you wonder if it's associated with the day care."
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