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Career criminal charged in disappearance of casino-goer

A lifelong criminal who was released from prison in March has been charged in the kidnapping of a North Jersey man outside an Atlantic City casino.

A lifelong criminal who was released from prison in March has been charged in the kidnapping of a North Jersey man outside an Atlantic City casino.

Craig Arno, a 45-year-old ex-con from Atlantic City, and an accomplice, Jessica Kisby, of Egg Harbor Township, were charged with kidnapping and carjacking Martin Caballero from the Trump Taj Mahal last weekend, authorites said this afternoon.

Arno was released from prison in New Jersey on March 29.

He and Kisby were arrested about 10:40 a.m. today at the Golden Key Motel in Egg Harbor Township.

Authorities said Caballero, 47, of North Bergen, dropped his wife off at the Trump Taj Mahal at 10:30 p.m. on May 21 then went to park his Lincoln MKS in the parking garage. He hasn't been seen since.

Prosecutors allege that Arno and Kisby followed Caballero in a silver Toyota into the parking garage and "approached him physically."

Officials would not specify what occurred in the garage.

After that, both cars left the garage, then drove around Atlantic City for about an hour, authorities said. Arno and Kisby allegedly traveled to a Wawa in May's Landing and a gas station in Pleasantville, where they purchased lighters and gasoline.

Both cars then traveled north to Gloucester Township, where Arno incurred serious burns while lighting Caballero's car on fire, authorities said.

Arno was captured on surveillance video using Caballero's ATM card to make a $300 withdrawal at a Bank of America branch in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County at 1 a.m., authorities said.

About 90 minutes later, the Lincoln was found on fire behind the Democrat Club in Gloucester Township, Camden County. Authorities ruled the blaze an arson and have been searching for Caballero ever since.

In 1981, Arno was charged with murder in Philadelphia after he slammed into a woman's car while drag racing on City Avenue. While out on bail for that crime, Arno was arrested again after eluding police while on a motorcycle.

Former Daily News columnist Jill Porter described Arno as "dumb and ungrateful" at the time.

Controversy erupted over the murder case when a judge reduced the charges to manslaughter and sentenced Arno, then a teenager, to five years' probation.

In 1997, Arno pleaded guilty in federal court in Camden to depositing counterfeit checks, counterfeiting money, making false IDs, and possessing illegal guns and ammunition. He was facing up to 90 years in federal prison on those charges, but according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he was released from federal custody in February.

Arno is also listed as having served time in the New Jersey Department of Corrections for burglary, and according to their Web site, he was paroled on March 29.

At a news conference today, Atlantic County prosecutor Ted Housel asked the public for their assistance if they'd seen either car traveling in Atlantic City, May's Landing or elsewhere.

Housel reiterated that no body was found, holding out hope that Caballero may turn up.

Sources told the Daily News that blood was found inside the Lincoln, but Houself declined to comment on that.
Arno and Kisby are being held on $400,000 bail.

It's unclear why the car was dumped in Gloucester Township.