A suspected kidnaper was killed Friday and two others were being sought in the Palm Springs area yesterday after an unsuccessful attempt to get $1 million in ransom for the wife of a wealthy investor, the FBI said.
Elaine Chaddick, 65, wife of Palm Springs Tennis Club owner Harry Chaddick, was found unharmed and the ransom money was recovered.
Herbert Clough Jr., of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said an unidentified man killed in a motorcyle-helicopter chase in a remote section of the desert Friday night was believed by agents to be the ringleader of the kidnaping team.
Mrs. Chaddick was abducted at gun-point last Tuesday, but the kidnaping was kept secret.
Clough said the kidnapers ordered Chaddick, 77, to go to a Twentynine Palms gas station Friday, where he received telephone instructions to drive out of town a desert road.
FBI agents and other law enforcement officers trailed Chaddick and moved in after a camper truck and motorcyclist arrived around dusk, shortly after Mrs. Chaddick was found walking on the road.
The motorcyclist was killed after a 10-mile chase and gun battle with a Sheriff's deputy in a helicopter, Clough said. The camper, containing two persons, believed to be a man and a woman, escaped in the darkness.