Alleged Plot to Kidnap Letterman's Son

Alleged Plot to Kidnap Letterman's Son
David Letterman
J.P. Filo/CBS

updated 03/17/2005 at 04:00 PM EST

originally published 03/17/2005 04:00PM

A man who allegedly plotted to kidnap David Letterman's son Harry and his nanny was arrested and arraigned in Montana, authorities said Thursday.

The 57-year-old Late Show host has a home in Montana, but Steven Rubenstein, a spokesman for Letterman's production company, said he could not immediately say whether Letterman or his family was in Montana at the time of the suspect's arrest, the Associated Press reports.

Montana Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sally Hilander identified the suspect as Kelly A. Frank, 43, who was under state supervision for a previous crime and was working as a painter at Letterman's ranch west of Choteau in Montana.

The alleged plot to nab Letterman's 1-1/2-year-old son was uncovered when a person called police after allegedly being approached by Frank about a kidnapping plot. Frank was taken into custody on a felony charge of solicitation. He was arrested Sunday and arraigned Thursday.

"An individual was approached by Mr. Frank, an acquaintance of some kind, about his thought on the kidnapping, and (Frank) shared his idea with this individual," according to Mike Ferriter of the state Department of Corrections. "I'm not sure if he asked him to assist or be a part of it."

Letterman's longtime girlfriend, Regina Lasko, gave birth to their son on Nov. 3, 2003. The boy, his first child, was named after the talk show host's late father, Harry Joseph Letterman.

Letterman's ranch, which he bought in 1999, is along the edge of the Rocky Mountain Front, an area known for its pristine wilderness. In September 2003, a black bear broke into Letterman's home twice before being captured and relocated after returning a third time.

For many years, Letterman was targeted by a stalker, who called herself "Mrs. David Letterman" and broke into his Connecticut house at least seven times. Margaret Ray eventually pleaded guilty to breaking and entering. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, she served 10 months in prison and 14 months in a mental institution. In 1998, she committed suicide at age 46 by kneeling in front of a train.

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