Exxon International President Sidney J. Reso died in a rented storage locker where he had been left wounded, gagged and handcuffed by his abductors, a newspaper reported Monday.
The Newark Star-Ledger, quoting law enforcement sources, said Reso was apparently wounded in a struggle with one of his kidnappers.Reso's body was discovered late Saturday in a shallow grave in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Former Exxon security manager Arthur Seale and his wife, Irene, have been charged with the kidnapping and were expected to be charged with murder.
The Star-Ledger said authorities believe the Seales used a rented van in the April 29 kidnapping, lurking outside Reso's home in an affluent neighborhood in Morris Township. Mrs. Seale, a tall blonde, allegedly jogged around the neighborhood.
When Reso, on his way to Exxon Company International headquarters in Florham Park, stopped to pick up his newspaper, Arthur Seale allegedly jumped on him and bundled him into the van, the Star-Ledger said. Reso was allegedly wounded in the arm during a struggle in the back of the van, leaving bloodstains on the floor that were later discovered by the FBI.
Authorities believe the Seales left Reso in a small self-storage locker near their home in Lebanon Township, sealing his mouth with duct tape. By the time the couple made their first ransom demand, Reso was dead, the Star-Ledger said.
Reso, 57, had suffered a heart attack three years ago and was on medication.
The Seales were arrested June 19 as they allegedly tried to set up a drop of $18.5 million in used $100 bills.
Seale, a former Hillside police officer, worked for Exxon security for several years.
The Seales hoped to make lucrative careers in the resort business. But in 1989 they returned to New Jersey to live with Seale's parents.
Reso, a native of New Orleans, joined Exxon immediately after his graduation from Louisiana State University. He rose to the presidency of the company's largest division after a career that included assignments around the United States and in London and Australia.
Reso and his wife, Patricia, had five children. The couple have been described as quiet people, devout Catholics who worked as volunteers in a Morristown soup kitchen and became involved with AIDS groups after losing a son to the disease.