Jeff Muller still gets emotional when he talks about the worst day of his life - he was mistaken for a swindler and kidnapped by a ruthless biker gang.
His ordeal began in a New Jersey parking lot six years ago when he arrived to open his pet supply shop. The bad guys were looking for a Jeff Muller who they believed had ripped off their boss. But they picked the wrong Jeff Muller.
“Next thing I know I’m getting kicked in the ribs,” Muller told IE. “Then someone said ‘Hit him in the neck, hit him in the neck,’ and that’s when I got stunned three times.”
He says the gang zip-tied his hands and put a hood over his head.
He kept telling the men they had the wrong guy.
Muller said: “They told me I embezzled money from somebody in Missouri! I sell dog food, why would I embezzle anybody?”
The gang threw him in the back seat and proceeded to drive clear across the country. Meanwhile, his wife, Gail, was desperately trying to figure out where her husband was.
“I started to panic,” she said.
The couple had no known enemies. The cops were also baffled.
“I was just so worried about him. I just couldn't figure out why he would disappear like that,” she said.
At some point the kidnappers realized they had the wrong guy, but that seemed to make matters worse. They told him they kill him.
Then a miracle happened, he said. The kidnappers' vehicle broke down at a Missouri gas station and he managed to escape.
He ran into the station’s convenience store saying he had been kidnapped and needed help.
Muller recalled: “I'm hanging on the counter and I collapse. I’m just lying on the floor, nothing left.”
The three kidnappers were all convicted.
Prosecutor Gregory Mueller said: “Jeff would have died. They were driving him to his death.”
"This was an innocent man who got kidnapped in broad daylight. He suffered greatly for a sin he never committed," the prosecutor said.
As for the other Jeffrey Muller, he is safe and well. Police said they found no evidence of any wrongdoing.