An autopsy has confirmed that human remains found at a suburban Chicago nature preserve are of a United Airlines executive reported missing more than a year ago, officials said Sunday.
Investigators used dental records to confirm the identity of 50-year-old Jacob “Jake” Cefolia of Elmhurst, according to the DuPage County coroner.
Contractors found the remains Friday afternoon in an area of heavy brush and vegetation at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near Darien.
Contractors at the preserve found Cefolia hanging by a belt from an uprooted tree, DuPage County officials said in a statement, per the Chicago Tribune. The area had been searched extensively before.
His wallet, driver’s license and a backpack, along with clothing that matched the description of what Cefolia was seen wearing the day before he was reported missing, were also identified at the scene, the paper added.
DuPage Forest Preserve Police Chief David Pederson said investigators found no signs of foul play.
Cefolia, who was a senior vice president of worldwide sales for Chicago-based United, was reported missing in August 2020 in a case that grabbed national headliines. His vehicle was found parked at the forest preserve but he wasn’t found despite what officials called an extensive search at the time.
“The human remains were located in a very thick covered brush area, extremely, so you can be 10 feet away and not see it,” Pederson said.