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FBI: N.C. man's kidnapping part of elaborate plot

Undated photo of Frank Arthur Janssen WRAL-TV

WAKE FOREST, N.C. - The FBI said Thursday that a Wake Forest man's kidnapping over the weekend was part of an elaborate plot with apparent ties to the victim's daughter, who is a prosecutor, reports CBS affiliate WRAL. The man was rescued in Atlanta late Wednesday after being kidnapped Saturday.

At a news conference Thursday morning, John Strong - special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina - said 63-year-old Frank Janssen was targeted by "a group of very dangerous people," according to the station. Authorities said Janssen was kidnapped from his home in Wake Forest's Heritage subdivision.

An elite FBI team rescued Janssen from the Forest Cove Apartments in southeast Atlanta just before midnight Wednesday, an FBI spokeswoman said in a statement, according to AJC.com.

The alleged kidnappers sent Janssen's wife a photo of him tied up and threatened to torture and dismember him, then return him to her in six boxes, federal authorities said.

"I'm honored and humbled to say Frank Janssen is safe and back with his family today," said Strong. "We can only imagine the uncertainty, confusion and fear he experienced."

Detectives told WRAL that Janssen went for a bike ride around 9 a.m. Saturday and returned home. His wife discovered he was missing later that day, when she returned from shopping, and found what appeared to be drops of blood outside their home, according to authorities.

Strong said the suspects sent demands to Janssen's family on behalf of a man named Kelvin Melton, who is in prison serving a life sentence. Melton, 49, had been prosecuted by Frank Janssen's daughter, an assistant district attorney, WRAL reports.

Melton was convicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury on Oct. 17, 2012, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. He is held under maximum security at the Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, N.C.

Officials would not comment on a possible motive for the kidnapping and refused to give any other specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.

At the press conference, U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker identified the suspects: Clifton James Robert, 29; Jenna Paulin Martin, 21; Tiana Maynard, 20; Jevante Price, 20; and Michael Montreal Gooden, 21. All five face federal kidnapping charges.









  • Crimesider Staff

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