Trenton Man Named in Kidnap-Murder Indictment
An indictment returned by a federal grand jury Wednesday named a New Jersey man previously charged in a cannibalism scheme and two men accused in a kidnap-rape plot, though the document in federal court in Manhattan made no mention of cannibalism.
The rewritten indictment was returned against Michael Vanhise, 22, a Trenton, N.J., auto mechanic; Robert Christopher Asch, 61; and Richard Meltz, 65.
Vanhise was originally arrested in January and charged with plotting with former New York Police Officer Gilberto Valle to kidnap and murder a Manhattan woman. Valle, who prosecutors say plotted to eat women, was convicted last month of conspiracy charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Asch, a former librarian at Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan, and Meltz, the chief of police at the Bedford Veterans Administration Medical Center in Massachusetts, were arrested last week and charged in a plot to kidnap, rape, torture and kill women, children and infants.
The rewritten indictment charged the three men with kidnapping conspiracy.
According to the document, Vanhise and Asch met in the spring of 2011 and "discussed a plan to kidnap women." The document said Asch later met with an undercover FBI agent to discuss plans to kidnap and kill a woman and then discussed the killing of a woman in a telephone conversation with Meltz.
All three were scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
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