Jim Bissett, the co-owner of and the recently-opened Hyatt Hotel in downtown Riverhead, was found dead in his car in a Mattituck park parking lot on Wednesday night.
According to Southold Police, an officer on routine patrol spotted a parked car at shortly before 6 p.m. His death is being investigated by Southold Town Police and the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office.
Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley said foul play is not suspected.
Bissett, 48, had of a 5,000-square-foot exhibition center and 100-room hotel, a $24 million expansion to the downtown aquarium complex. He lived on Cox Neck Road in Mattituck.
Said Bissett the night of the opening: "I'm feeling good. I'm feeling relaxed. There's good things happening in Riverhead. I hope everyone enjoys the butterflies as much as I enjoyed designing and building the exhibit."
Bissett's family owned and operated Bissett Nurseries, with locations in Dix Hills and Holtsville.
Long Island Aquarium released the following statement: "The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center, Hyatt Place East End Hotel, Bissett Nursery, and Treasure Cove Resort Marina communities mourn the loss of co-owner and founder, James J. Bissett III, who died on Wednesday, December 14 near his home in Mattituck, NY. He was 48.
"No words can adequately express our sadness at Mr. Bissett’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much."