“However you feel like doing it, just do it.”
“Make sure to clean the area up. Don’t leave anything. Don’t leave any DNA behind.”
Following the call, authorities tried to enter Melton’s cell and he temporarily barred the door and smashed the phone. Prison records show Melton had been cited with infractions twice in the last year for possessing phones, most recently on Feb. 24. Prison officials are now investigating whether a staff member might have smuggled in the phone Melton allegedly used to help orchestrate the kidnapping.
A few hours after correction officers forced their way into Melton’s cell, authorities located Janssen in Atlanta at the Forest Cove Apartments, a complex of two-story townhomes.
Charged with kidnapping were: Jenna Paulin Martin; Tiana Maynard; Jevante “Flame” Price; Michael “Hot” Montreal Gooden and Clifton James Roberts.
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.
According to the complaint, the women and Roberts conspired to kidnap Janssen while Price and Gooden were the “night watch” over him.
Outside the Atlanta apartment complex Thursday, several residents described hearing a loud boom that startled them. Two mangled, charred doors lay in a courtyard area in front of one of the townhomes.
The FBI describes its Hostage Rescue Team as a national level counterterrorist unit, offering a tactical option for any extraordinary hostage crisis or other law enforcement situation in the U.S.
In Wake Forest, there was no answer at the Janssen’s door. Authorities said the Janssen family had asked for privacy.
Janssen’s neighbors praised the work of the law enforcement officers.
“I’ve been crying my eyes out,” said Connie O’Sullivan, who lives next door. “I love him to death, and I’ve been praying that nothing bad happened to him.”