Federal Indictment Charges 9 People with Abduction of North Carolina Prosecutor’s Father

Kelvin Melton
Kelvin Melton

An Atlanta kidnapping crew scheming to nab a North Carolina prosecutor went to the wrong address and, instead, grabbed the attorney’s father, authorities said.

In a federal indictment released today charging nine people in connection with the abduction of Frank Janssen, prosecutors said a hired crew was contracted to snatch his daughter, Wake County, N.C., Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen, at the behest of a man she had put in prison for life.

And eight people face life in federal prison for following the direction of Kelvin Melton, the ring leader who’d already been convicted for giving felonious orders, authorities said.

Twice, apparent bungling led the cohorts to the wrong place, according to the indictment obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In March, an Internet search led the alleged conspirators to an address for the North Carolina prosecutor … in Louisiana.

So an armed team rented a car and drove to Louisiana on what proved to be a fruitless mission.

“Despite traveling from Georgia to Louisiana and taking various other steps to carry out the kidnapping plot, the participants aborted the plot prior to completing the abduction,” the indictment read.

And on April 5, prosecutors said four people drove a rented car from Atlanta to Wake Forest with information they believed pointed them to the home of Colleen Janssen.

They found, instead, her father, and according to prosecutors, left a receipt at Frank Janssen’s home from a meal stop they made earlier that day en route to their target.

Investigators would eventually find the receipt and track it to a McDonald’s restaurant in Lexington, S.C., where surveillance video would help identify two of the suspects, authorities said.

Frank Janssen was pistol-whipped and shocked with an electronic stun gun multiple times, both at his home as he was taken and on the trip back to Atlanta, prosecutors said.

Five days later, an FBI kidnap rescue unit located and freed him safely from a southeast Atlanta apartment just as the crew made plans to kill him, authorities said.

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Source: The Atlanta Journal Constitution | Marcus K. Garner

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