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Explosion investigation continues as friends mourn

Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:57 PM

An investigation continues into an explosion Monday afternoon on Vance Lane in Lebanon that killed a retired attorney and left his wife critically injured.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said Wednesday afternoon officials were still working at the site of the explosion at 580 Vance Lane to collect evidence in an attempt to solve the case.

"We’re still on the property [Wednesday], and hopefully we can finish after [Wednesday],” Bryan said. “We are tracking down several leads we have developed over the past several days. That’s basically what we’re working on at this point.”

So far, few details in the investigation are known or released. But in a press conference Tuesday, collaborating agencies involved shared some information as they continue to work on the case.

Bryan said the investigation is a joint effort by several state, local and federal agencies, including the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Nashville division, the state fire marshal’s office, the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, Lebanon Public Safety, the FBI and the 15th district attorney’s office.

Bryan said Jon Setzer, 74, was found dead at the scene Monday, and Marion Setzer, 72, was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Marion Setzer remained in the hospital in critical condition, according to the latest information given to Bryan on Tuesday. A hospital spokesperson said Marion Setzer was not listed in records, which is common due to privacy laws concerning patients who are also victims.

On Monday at about 5 p.m., authorities said a package exploded inside the couple’s home. Few other details were released.

Many people in the community expressed their thoughts Wednesday on the bizarre case and shared memories of the Setzer family.

Jody Aulds, a partner attorney at Rochelle, McCulloch and Aulds, said she knew Jon Setzer because he was one of her Sunday school teachers at First United Methodist Church in Lebanon.

“He was one of the five to six teachers we had, and they would rotate,” Aulds said. “He was clearly one of the favorites.”

Aulds said Jon Setzer was “extremely knowledgeable of the Bible” and bragged on his presentations of his lessons.

According to Aulds, Jon Setzer had practiced law in Nashville before he and Marion both retired and moved to Lebanon around 2006 to be near their daughter who lived in the city.

“You know, some people come in and they are real quiet, but not them,” Aulds said. “They came in, and they got involved right away. They were very active members of the church, whether it was greeters or anything like that.”

Aulds also praised Marion Setzer, who she described as “just the sweetest person.”

“They were both very compassionate and kind. They’re good Christian people,” Aulds said. “I can’t imagine anyone targeting them. I don’t understand it. I hope they get to the bottom of what happened.”

Aulds said the recent occurrence to her was “a shock of mammoth proportions.”

“If I find peace in anything I know Jon is in Heaven,” Aulds said. “I don’t worry about that for him because he was that kind of person. His faith was strong, and he was a good, good man.”

Aulds also said the Setzers seemed to be very close, even in their 70s, and it was “refreshing” to see them as a couple together.

Another church member, Lucy Lee, said the Setzers were “kind, humble and caring and wanted to know about you.”

“They’re the finest people I have known,” Lee said. “They were always that way. You know some people are some way sometimes, but they were always nice all the time.”

Lee said the Setzers were “wonderful people,” and she couldn’t believe the recent events.

“We’re all so stunned and absolutely speechless,” Lee said.

Like Aulds, Lee also said Jon Setzer was an amazing Sunday school teacher and Marion Setzer was “a beautiful woman, both inside and out.”

“I pray they find out who did this. I can’t imagine anything worse for the family than not knowing,” Lee said. “We just want the family to know how much we love them and admire them and are hoping for the best.”

Investigators have asked the public to contact local law enforcement if anyone receives any type of suspicious packages with suspicious circumstances.

Bryan said an $8,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals responsible for this crime. Anyone with information relevant to the investigation should call 800-TBI-FIND or 800-824-3463.

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