PORT ALICE, B.C. – The rural community of Port Alice was rocked Tuesday after a package exploded in the hands of an unsuspecting resident.
Roger Nepper suffered significant injuries after a package reportedly sent by his brother exploded when he opened it.
Nepper’s family home suffered serious damage, and his wife Shirley Bowick suffered injuries as well.
On Friday, 73-year-old Leon Nepper was arrested in Whitehorse in connection with the incident.
Shirley spoke with Vista Radio on Saturday, and stated that nails from the shrapnel were lodged in Roger’s body. The victim is currently with family in Duncan.
“I think he’s doing quite well, but it’s going to be about a year, and he’s going to need several surgeries,” she said.
Following the explosion, Nepper was rushed to hospital in Nanaimo.
“He has lost his index finger, and the other two beside it are gone,” Bowick said.
“They saved the baby (finger) and the thumb, and he has multiple surgeries after this to go through. There’s shrapnel all over our walls.”
Bowick said she will be returning to her home today, before heading down island to be reunited with her husband.
She noted that the RCMP did not inform her in regards to Leon Nepper’s arrest.
Nepper faces two charges, one of sending an explosive device and being in possession of an explosive device.
Bowick said it’s “definitely” a relief that Nepper has been arrested.
“We did nothing but take care of the man for over a year, and I just don’t understand this,” she said.
Although Bowick said she’s going “to have to have counselling after this”, she said it could have been a lot worse.
“In one way, it could have killed how many people? It’s Canada Post, right? So in a way it was lucky, but unlucky,” she said.
Leon Nepper is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.