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William Niehous, executive kidnapped in Venezuela; at 82

TOLEDO, Ohio — A former businessman from Ohio who was kidnapped in 1976 and rescued three years later in a Venezuelan jungle has died at age 82.

A funeral home outside Toledo confirms that William Niehous died Thursday.

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The cause of death was not disclosed.

Mr. Niehous was working for Toledo-based Owens-Illinois Inc. as president of operations in Venezuela when he was kidnapped by gunmen at his home near Caracas.

Venezuelan guerrillas held Mr. Niehous in the jungle for more than three years while demanding publication of their manifesto and money.

He was rescued in 1979 by police officers who were searching for cattle thieves.

Mr. Niehous then returned the United States and to work at Owens-Illinois. He later worked in education and did volunteer work in Toledo, where he grew up.

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