James "Jim" Kidwell was a Major in the United States Marine Corps who worked for the CIA under Agent Jack Canton.
At some point, a random mission ended in disaster and while the CIA paid the ransom money which was two million dollars, Canton who had gone rogue took the money for himself and began planning to stop NCIS from investigating by posing as the Marines's C.O and then NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.
Unfortunately, Kidwell had called his wife, insisting that he wasn't dead, forcing Canton to step up his plan.
As a result, Kidwell was eventually embalmed, dying in the process and his body taken to the U.S for burial.
NCIS eventually got to the coffin and uncovered his remains with Kidwell's friend, Danny O'Donnell later confirming that it was Kidwell in the casket while Donald Mallard soon discovered that the Major had been embalmed while still alive, meaning that he had been murdered.
Kidwell's wife, Sarah who had holding out some hope that her husband was still alive was left devastated when Leroy Jethro Gibbs told her the news.
Although NCIS had failed to save Kidwell, they were successful in saving Major Craig Peary from death with Canton dying in a gunfight.