Investigators say the man's wife and her boyfriend admitted planting the device. "She didn't see divorce as an option," a detective says.
Elmer Rivera arrived home from work to discover a bomb under his bed.
His wife and her boyfriend later admitted to investigators that they had planted the device, which never exploded, in a murder plot hatched two months ago, police said.
Nayades Ortega, 25, and Ricardo Diaz, 21, of Boynton Beach, were charged Thursday with attempted first-degree murder. They were being held without bail in the Palm Beach County jail.
Rivera, 26, Ortega's husband, told police he came home about 1 a.m. Thursday and became suspicious when he noticed the patio sliding glass door was slightly open. He started searching the house, and "that's when I found under my bed a weird object." At first, said Rivera, a supervisor at a Deerfield Beach lighting company, "I thought it was one of my kid's toys, but I saw wires, and I started thinking it's a bomb," and he called police.
Police evacuated about 50 homes while the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office bomb squad removed and deactivated the device.
Ortega had brought her and Rivera's 22-month-old son to her mother's house Wednesday evening before she left for work, police said.
Police said Ortega and Diaz told investigators in separate interviews that Diaz planted the bomb, which he built with propane and oxygen tanks, at 8 p.m. Wednesday while Ortega was at work.
The bomb was rigged to explode as someone sat down on the bed, police said.
"Both defendants made it perfectly clear that their full intent was for Elmer to die," Detective Ray Schilke said. "She didn't see divorce as an option, and neither did he."