Public Safety

Complaint: Tiffin man lied about his kidnapping, sent family a photo of himself bound and gagged in snowy ditch

A Tiffin man was arrested Saturday for what Johnson County deputies say were lies about his kidnapping and being in mortal danger.

According to a Johnson County criminal complaint, Frank A. Tanke, 26, of Tiffin, on March 5 sent his mother a photo of himself “bound and gagged, laying in a snow-filled ditch” and sent a friend a message stating he was “bleeding out” and only had one hour to live.

Deputies conducted searches throughout the night, attempting to locate Tanke. The next morning, he returned home and his mother called 911.

Tanke told investigators he had been abducted by two men in black, wearing ski masks and carrying handguns, according to the complaint. Tanke also said he was “knocked out, gagged, tied up and thrown into a vehicle,” then driven to a remote location where he was thrown into a ditch. Tanke also claimed his kidnappers stayed with him throughout the night and he was only able to escape on foot the next morning.

Deputies said as a result of the investigation, they “discovered that the defendant lied about everything he originally reported.”

Tanke has been charged with false reports to or communications with public safety entities, a serious misdemeanor. Serious misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail.

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