The human remains of a United Airlines executive, who went missing more than a year ago during a jog, has been found in a nature preserve in Chicago. Human remains of Jacob Cefolia, 50, who went missing after leaving from his home in a Chicago suburb, was found hanging from a belt in the forest.
His remains were found on Friday afternoon while authorities were removing invasive species in an area of heavy brush and vegetation at the 2500-acre Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near Darien. Initially, they were confused after discovering the human remains but later autopsy report confirmed it to be Cefolia.
Cefolia was found hanging by a belt from an uprooted tree in a densely forested area. Officials also found his wallet, driver's license and a backpack with personal belongings at the scene. Clothing matching what Cefolia was last seen wearing was also uncovered.
It is not known if Cefolia died by suicide or was murdered as na investigation has been launched. However, police as of now don't suspect foul play.
However, at that time there were no signs of him or his body in that area. Cefolia was identified after a forensic odonatologist examined dental records and became sure that the remains belong to Cefolia. Interestingly, it is the same location where Cefolia's Range Rover Sport was found after he went missing on August 8, 2020.
Police said that after he was reported missing last year, the area had been searched multiple times. The area has a dense tree canopy, very thick briars and dense vegetation, and was not near where police found Cefolia's vehicle parked," police said.
His body was discovered when the forest contractors were removing invasive species when they saw "human remains hanging from a low hanging tree," according to the Forest Preserve District chief of police.
Mystery Shrouds Death
Although no fold play is expected, still mystery shrouds the death of the United Airlines executive. Chief medical examiner, Richard Jorgensen's office said that the cause and manner of death remain under investigation.
DuPage County Forest Preserve District police Chief David Pederson said it did not seem like a natural cause of death but the coroner's office will make the official determination.
Cefolia was senior vice president of global sales for Chicago-based United Airlines, the fourth largest passenger carrier in the United States. An avid runner and a fitness freak, he was known to jog through the area, running for several miles at a time.
Not much is known about his family and their reaction after the discovery of his remains. Cefolia was first reported missing last year by his ex-wife after he failed to pick up his children for his scheduled visitation.
When police last year traced his vehicle they also found a Covid-19 face mask hanging from the steering wheel, a gray pullover in the back seat, and a golf bag with a set of clubs and $120 in cash in the trunk.