5 charged after 'elaborate kidnapping' of NC man

ATLANTA -- Less than 12 hours after a daring rescue, members of the FBI described what they called an "elaborate kidnapping plot".

Frank Arthur Janssen, 63, disappeared from his home in Wake Forest, North Carolina on Saturday April 5. According to the criminal complaints, a heavy-set woman knocked on Janssen's door. Once Janssen opened it, he was assaulted by several individuals and then Tased.

On Wednesday night, he was rescued by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team in the New Town Circle apartment complex in southeast Atlanta.

Investigators spent the day Thursday seizing evidence to piece together the dramatic story. Janssen's daughter's work as a prosecutor on drug and gang cases may be the reason behind his abduction, according to authorities.

The criminal complaint said that the kidnappers tied up Jannsen and sent a picture to his family. They also allegedly threatened to kill and torture other family members if their demands were not met.

During a press conference Thursday morning, the FBI said five people had been charged with federal kidnapping in the case and that the demands made by the kidnappers were to the benefit of Kelvin Melton, who was prosecuted by Janssen's daughter, who is an assistant district attorney. Melton is an inmate at the Polk Correctional Unit in Butner, N.C.

Neighbors said the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team used concussion grenades to gain entrance to the apartment where Janssen was being held.

Investigators said Janssen is the father of a North Carolina assistant district attorney, who prosecuted Kelvin Milton. Police said they traced a call to Milton's cell, where he allegedly was communicating with the crew in Georgia, instructing them how to clean up a crime scene. This was as the group was apparently preparing to kill Janssen and bury him in three feet of soft earth near the apartment complex -- which is right across the street from the federal penitentiary in Atlanta.

The five suspects range in age from 19 to 21. They appeared before a magistrate on Thursday, some with nicknames like "Flame" and "Hot." The five will eventually be transferred to North Carolina for prosecution.

Even though Janssen "spent five nights in the hands of a group of very dangerous people," according to authorities, he is in good health and with his family.


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