Tuesday, April 29, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A prosecutor's father who was kidnapped from his North Carolina home has written a letter thanking the elite FBI team who rescued him.
Frank Janssen released the three-page letter on Tuesday, calling the coordinated rescue effort "nothing short of a miracle." The letter was released through his daughter, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen.
"However, despite the nightmare that I experienced, the fact that I am writing this letter from the comfort of my home is a testament to the many wonderful things that were done by many wonderful people," he wrote.
Authorities say the kidnappers in early April held the 63-year-old Janssen in an Atlanta apartment, tormenting his family with text messages threatening to cut him into pieces if police were called or their demands weren't met.
It was determined that the suspects intended to kidnap Colleen Janssen, but they went to the wrong address and took her father anyway.
" ... I have never felt a greater feeling of joy, relief, and freedom than that miraculous moment when I heard a firm, American soldier's voice say 'Mr. Janssen, we are here to take you home,'" Frank Janssen wrote.
Nine people have been indicted in the case. That includes Bloods gang member Kelvin Melton, who Colleen Janssen prosecuted for his role in a shooting.
Authorities said was calling the shots by cellphone from his North Carolina prison cell. Janssen's daughter, Wake Forest assistant district attorney Colleen Janssen, prosecuted Melton in 2012 for his role in the shooting of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.
Court records show Melton has a long record of felony convictions in New York, the first being a 1979 robbery committed when he was 14. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery in 1998 and served more than 13 years in New York prisons before being released in August 2011.
His conviction in North Carolina sent him to prison for life and authorities said he wanted revenge.