Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Grand jury indicts high-profile St. Louis businessman for ‘ruthless kidnapping’

FENTON, MO (KPLR) – A grand jury indicted the man behind Massage Luxe, as well as four other men, in connection with a harrowing kidnapping. Federal investigators said the incident lasted for three days before Thanksgiving.

It ended in Fenton. Federal documents said the kidnappers brought the victim to second location, inside a shipping container on the property of Todd Beckman, the president and CEO of the company that owns Massage Luxe and the tanning company Tanco.

The shipping container was on a remote property behind a church and next to Bud Weil Memorial Park. A Fox 2 News investigation revealed federal investigators served search warrants on Beckman’s property December 1. They were looking for DNA that would prove the men bound their victim inside the shipping container.

U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan described the case as a, “bizarre and ruthless kidnapping the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.”

Callahan said the indictment reads like a movie script. He said the victim was assaulted and threatened with a gun.

“…The next 48 hours were nothing but terror,” he said.

The kidnappers wanted a ransom. They reportedly got it in the form of $27,000 they demanded from the victim’s parents. Callahan said the victim’s parents “could hear their son screaming in the background; screaming from the torture.”

The indictment said the kidnappers drove the victim to the Gravois Bluffs shopping center and dumped him the day before Thanksgiving.

Fox 2 News has learned federal investigators were interested in surveillance video from behind the shopping center. Video would reportedly show the suspects driving a St. Louis Tan Company van. They reportedly dumped him in the area November 23.

Aside from Beckman, the federal grand jury indicted Caleb and Blake Laubinger, Kerry Roades, and Zachary Smith.

The indictment said the kidnappers wanted to recover money the victim reportedly stole, but there’s no further explanation. The U.S. Attorney would only say cases like this typically involve drugs.

Fox 2 News also reached out to the kidnapping victim. He was not available to talk.