New details are emerging about Bryce Reed, the 31-year-old paramedic and first responder to the massive explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant who was arrested and charged on Friday as a criminal investigation into the blast was announced. At first glace, Reed seemed like an integral part of the town’s healing process by lifting morale after 15 people were killed in the incident, but police uncovered that the paramedic had the makings of a pipe bomb.
He has not been named as a suspect in the explosion.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Reed is a contact person for a Tee-Spring.com fundraiser that raised $33,177 in lieu of the tragedy, and several people close to the paramedic have accused him to stealing victim-relief money. However, a spokesperson for the website said that certified checks are only issued to charities, not individuals.
Reed also posted a comment to his Facebook page denying any theft.
“I have not received ONE CENT for ANYTHING that I did to help with this situation,” Reed wrote. “I have not been paid by the media, by press, I made nothing for delivering my brothers eulogy, and made NOTHING off of this tragedy. I was a shoulder to cry on.”
Suspicion of Reed’s character has been further raised after an investigation uncovered that the suspect’s LinkedIn page contains unverifiable information about his education and work history. The online resúmé holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, but records show otherwise. He also claims to have held management positions with three companies that no longer exist.
Reed was taken into custody earlier this week after police found a pipe, chemicals and fuses in his home. He appeared today in federal court in Waco on a charge of possessing a destructive device and did not enter a plea. Reed is held without bail in McLennan County Jail. According to KVUE, he faces 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. His next court date is May 15.