Suspected Mastermind of New Jersey Kidnapping Charged

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Investigators allege a Missouri man ordered a kidnapping in which authorities believe the wrong man was abducted.

Forty-eight-year-old William Barger of Nevada, Mo., appeared in court in Vernon County Wednesday on 11 charges mainly stemming from a home invasion in November.

In a probable cause statement, investigators allege Barger ordered three others to break into a home near Nevada and later to kidnap a man called Jeffrey Muller.

Authorities say Muller was kidnapped Friday outside his New Jersey pet store. He was driven nearly 1,200 miles before being rescued Saturday when his captors ran into car trouble in Missouri.

Barger has not been charged in the kidnapping, which prosecutors believe was a case of mistaken identity.