Inmate charged in Wake Forest man's kidnapping

An inmate described as a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang faces a federal kidnapping charge.
April 11, 2014 3:56:39 PM PDT
A great deal of mystery still surrounds the bizarre kidnapping of a Wake County man.

Authorities say 63-year-old Frank Janssen was targeted by a gang member who was sent to prison for life by Janssen's daughter, who is a Wake County prosecutor.

What is still unknown is exactly what the kidnappers wanted.

Janssen went out last Saturday morning for a bike ride while his wife was out shopping. But when she got back, she noticed blood drops outside, and there was no sign of her husband. According to court documents, Janssen returned from his ride, but then a woman came to his front door. When he answered, he was assaulted by several people who used a Taser to subdue him. They put him in a car and drove him to Georgia and began sending demands by text message.

The federal court documents say, at one point, the kidnappers texted Janssen's wife with a message that said: "tomorrow we call you again an if you can not tell me where my things are at tomorrrow i will start torchering."

However, no one is saying what "things" the kidnapper was referring to.

The text came from Atlanta where Janssen was rescued from this apartment.

If there were no specific demands, some wonder if the ultimate goal was to kill Janssen.

It is obvious investigators believe the members of the Bloods gang were retaliating against Janssen's daughter, who put 49-year-old Kelvin Melton in jail for life in 2012.

The documents claim Melton coordinated the effort from his cell using a smuggled mobile phone.

Janssen's daughter, Colleen, won't comment about the case, where her family is, or what injuries her father suffered, if any, during the ordeal.

Colleen told ABC11 that she plans to return to her job. She thanked her co-workers for their support and law enforcement for likely saving her father's life.

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Melton.

The case highlights the problem of inmates getting access to smart phones that can allow them to make calls, exchange email, browse the Internet and maintain Facebook profiles.

Five other people now face federal kidnapping charges:

  • Jenna Paulin Martin, 21
  • Tiana Maynard - AKA "Tiana Brooks", 21
  • Jevante Price - AKA "Flame", 21
  • Michael Montreal Gooden - AKA "Hot", 22
  • Clifton James Roberts, 29

They appeared Thursday in federal court in Atlanta, where a magistrate judge read the charges against them. They are due back in court for a bond hearing Tuesday, when they will each have a lawyer appointed by the judge.

If convicted, they face the possibility of a maximum sentence of life without parole.


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