Body of missing United executive found a year after his disappearance

·2-min read
Remains of United Airlines executive Jacob Cefolia were found on Friday (NBC Chicago)
Remains of United Airlines executive Jacob Cefolia were found on Friday (NBC Chicago)

Human remains found at a nature reserve in Illinois have been confirmed to be those of a United Airlines executive who went missing last year.

The body was discovered on Friday hanging by a belt from an uprooted tree at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, about 25 miles outside of Chicago, police chief David Pederson said, adding there were no signs of wrongdoing.

A forensic odonatologist examined dental records and identified the body to be of Jacob Cefolia, DuPage County Forest Preserve District police said on Sunday.

Cefolia, a senior vice president of worldwide sales for United, was last seen on 7 August 2020.

His wallet, driver’s license and other personal belongings were also found at the location, police said. The clothes matched with what he was wearing on the day he was reported missing as well.

Authorities, however, are still investigating the cause and manner of death.

The police were contacted on Friday by contractors, after they stumbled upon the remains. Mr Pederson said the workers were removing invasive species in the area when they found the body hanging from a tree.

“The human remains were located in a very thick covered brush area, extremely, so you can be 10 feet away and not see it. Obviously, the foliage is starting to drop this time of year, these contractors were working in a very thick area,” he told news channel NBC 5 Chicago.

The United executive was reported missing after his former wife informed authorities that he had failed to show up for his night with the kids.

Hours later, his car was reportedly found parked outside the forest preserve.

Following his disappearance, an extensive search with bloodhounds was carried out in the 2,503-acre area, but yielded no results.

The body was found at a site that had allegedly been searched numerous times, police added.

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