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SECOND SUSPECT TARGETED IN SLAYING OF BUSINESSMAN

A second man was expected to be charged today in the bizarre kidnapping and murder case of 76-year-old North Tonawanda businessman William Rickerson.

Law enforcement officials said they planned to file murder charges against a Buffalo man in his early 20s who has been under investigation for more than two months in the case. The suspect's name was not released.

"We do expect some developments today in the county courthouse," said Niagara County District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III.

The Buffalo man is believed to have assisted Richard Matt, 31, an ex-convict from the city of Tonawanda who has been in custody in Matamoros, Mexico, for the past month.

Matt, a former employee of a food warehouse run by Rickerson, is charged with murdering him. He also is accused of killing an American businessman outside a bar in the Mexican border town.

Rickerson, 76, of Harvard Place in North Tonawanda, was kidnapped from his home, apparently on the night of Dec. 4.

Police believe he was forced into the trunk of a car, possibly driven around for several hours and subsequently murdered.

Rickerson was beheaded, and his arms were cut off after the slaying, police said. His torso was found in the Niagara River.

North Tonawanda police believe the two kidnapped Rickerson because they thought they could get a lot of money from him.

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