Redner murder reward increases

March 19, 2008 1:44:15 PM PDT
The reward has doubled in the murder of a prominent Berks County supermarket exec.

Pennsylvania State Police announced Wednesday that the reward for information that leads to the arrest of Gary W. Redner's killer has jumped from $20-thousand to $40-thousand.

Police did not say who put up the extra money.

Redner, 55, helped his family run Redner's Wholesale Markets, a regional chain founded by their father. Police believe he was killed between 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9th and 6 a.m. the next day.

Redner served as executive vice president of the Reading-based company, which operates 39 grocery stores and a dozen convenience stores.

"My son was extremely popular. If he had an enemy, I don't know who he was," father Earl Redner, 82, said Monday. "He was probably the most popular person in the company, and that includes me."

Earl Redner, now retired, said he last spoke to his son Saturday from Charleston, S.C., where he lives part-time. Gary Redner seemed in good spirits and did not voice any particular concerns, his father said. They did not discuss his son's plans for the day.

Gary Redner, who was divorced with two adult children, was found dead Sunday at his stately red brick home in Lower Heidelberg Township. He lived alone, according to his father.

"He was a very gregarious man. We would like to think that anyone who knew him professionally or personally, and may have some kind of direction or suggestion, that they would contact us," said Lt. Thomas McDaniel, who runs the criminal investigation unit at the state police barracks in Reading.

He declined to say whether there was a break-in at the home or if anything was missing, and would not say who discovered the body.

"We don't want to expose anything that would undermine investigators," McDaniel said.

Gary Redner was the company's executive vice president of procurement and director of wholesale operations. His brother, Richard E., also of Lower Heidelberg Township, serves as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors.

Gary Redner's son, Gary M., joined the company in 2001 and directs wholesale operations while Richard's son, Ryan, is chief operating officer, a company spokesman said.

Gary Redner is also survived by a daughter who does not work in the family business, spokesman Eric B. White said.

Redner's has about 4,000 employees. The company, which added the family name to Earl Redner's independent markets in 1979, operates stores in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York state.

(Action News and The Associated Press contributed information for this story)