For five nights, federal officials said a North Carolina man was held captive by gang members while his family received threats of him being tortured and dismembered.
And they said the 63-year-old was kidnapped because his daughter, an assistant district attorney, had prosecuted the man who reputed to be a high-ranking member in the gang.
But a team of local, state and federal officers rescued Mr. Frank Arthur Janssen shortly before midnight Wednesday from the Forest Cove Apartments on New Town Circle in southeast Atlanta, according to the FBI.
Mr. Janssen was alone at his home in Wake Forest, N. C. when he was kidnapped Saturday, according to police. He had gone bike riding about 9 a.m. and returned home, Wake Forest police said.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a woman knocked on Mr. Janssen's door sometime that day and several people assaulted him including one person using a stun gun to subdue him. He was then driven to Atlanta, the paper reported.
When his wife returned from shopping, she discovered he was not home and became concerned when she saw what appeared to be drops of blood outside the home, Wake Forest police said.
Mr. Janssen’s kidnapping was related to Mr. Kelvin Melton with the Bloods gang, Mr. John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Charlotte office said in a news conference.
Mr. Melton was prosecuted by Mr. Janssen’s daughter and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill as a violent habitual offender, according to the AJC.
“Specific demands were sent to Mr. Janssen's family for the benefit of Kelvin Melton," Mr. Strong said.
“He spent five nights in the hands of a group of very dangerous people," Mr. Strong said. "We can only imagine the uncertainty, confusion and fear he experienced."
On Monday, Mr. Janssen's wife, Christie, started receiving a series of text messages from a phone in Georgia, the AJC reported. One of the texts said if law enforcement was contacted: "we will send (Mr. Janssen) back to you in 6 boxes and every chance we get we will take someone in your family to Italy and torture them and kill them ... we will do drive by and gun down anybody."
According to the complaint, at 12:19 a.m. Wednesday, she received a text photograph of him tied up in a chair, the paper reported.
Officials have charged five people with federal kidnapping, including: Ms. Jenna Paulin Martin, 21, Ms. Tiana Maynard (aka Ms. Tiana Brooks), 20, Mr. Jevante Price (aka Flame), 20, Mr. Michael Montreal Gooden (aka Hot), 21, and Mr. Clifton James Roberts, 29, according to Mr. Thomas Walker, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The suspects are in custody in Atlanta and are scheduled to appear in front of a U.S. Magistrate Judge at 4 p.m., the AJC reported.
Mr. Janssen has been reunited with his family, Mr. Strong said.