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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Investigators Find no Sign of Struggle on Body of Delivery Driver

Aired September 1, 2003 - 19:14   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The FBI has been called in to help investigate an unusual crime in Erie, Pennsylvania.
It started with a bank robbery. The robber claimed he was a pizza deliveryman that had been forced to rob the bank against his will, and that he had a bomb strapped to his body.

As Mike Brooks reports, the story gets even stranger after that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a bizarre crime that has baffled police since Thursday, when a man said he was forced to rob a western Pennsylvania bank by someone who strapped explosives to his body.

This is what Brian Douglas Wells said minutes before he died: "Why is nobody trying to get this thing off me? I don't have a lot of time."

As the camera is rolling, Wells continues to describe the encounter with a man he says strapped the bomb to his body: "He pulled a key out and started a timer. I heard the thing ticking when he did it. It's going to go off. I'm not lying. Did you call my boss?"

As police waited for bomb technicians to arrive, the bomb went off, killing Wells.

Earlier, he had delivered a pizza to a remote area, according to his boss, and an hour later he showed up at the bank, strapped with a bomb and carrying a note.

KEN MCCABE, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It gave instructions to the bank employees on what they were supposed to do, and the bank employees complied with that. That note also contained instructions for what Mr. Wells was supposed to do. And he was in the process of following those instructions when the Pennsylvania state police stopped him and placed him under arrest.

BROOKS: Now authorities are investigating a second death: a co- worker at the same pizza delivery place found dead yesterday in his parent's home. Police had sent in a bomb team because of the connection, but nothing suspicious was found, and police now think the deaths are a coincidence.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'BRIEN: Mike, the bomb has been described as a sophisticated device. What have authorities been able to learn about Brian Wells?

BROOKS: Well, actually, I spoke with law enforcement earlier today. And they said the bomb wasn't as sophisticated as people are describing it.

But they're talking about Wells as a 46-year-old man, pizza delivery guy, who they don't know a lot about his past mental health. They wouldn't talk at all about his past physical health, whether he had any ailments, whether he was suffering from any kind of physical or emotional kind of problems. They would not say too much about him at all, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Little seems to be known about a critical time, the hour between when the pizza was delivered and then when Wells arrived at the bank. Have investigators been able to track down where the pizza was delivered to?

BROOKS: Yes, they have. In fact, someone called in to have a pizza delivered to a specific address. This specific address was actually a radio tower in a remote part of Erie.

Now there was no one at this radio tower. So they don't know if he dumped the pizza off somewhere, if someone there grabbed him.

But what law enforcement did tell me, Soledad, is the coroner is saying that there was no sign of a struggle on Wells' body. There were no scuffmarks on his knees, nothing at all, in which they feel if he had been forced to do this, that he would have put up some kind of a fight.

Tomorrow there's a news conference at 11 a.m. with the Pennsylvania state police and the district attorney's office. So hopefully they can shed more light on this bizarre story.

O'BRIEN: Let's hope so. Mike Brooks, thanks very much for that update.

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