United Airlines Executive Jake Cefolia’s remains have been positively identified by The DuPage County coroner after he was reported missing over a year ago.
Cefolia’s remains were found in the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Lemont, Ill., about 25 miles outside of Chicago, per a press release issued this past Sunday.
Authorities were able to positively identify 50-year-old Cefolia through dental records, but the cause and manner of death are still under investigation. DuPage Forest Preserve Police Chief David Pederson stated there were no signs of foul play, and the matter is part of an ongoing death investigation.
Pederson stated that Cefolia was found hanging by a belt from a tree. Cefolia’s wallet, driver’s license, and a backpack with other personal belonging were also found at the scene, according to police.
On Friday, the DuPage Forest Preserve District Police said in a press release that they were called out to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve after contractors made the disturbing discovery.
Pederson informed NBC 5 Chicago that workers were removing invasive species in the area when they stumbled upon “human remains hanging from a low hanging 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,” said Pederson. “Obviously the foliage is starting to drop this time of year, these contractors were working in a very thick area…”
The United Airlines executive was first reported missing in August 2020, after his ex-wife Kristine Cefolia told authorities that he failed to show up for his night with the kids. His car was found hours later, parked outside Waterfall Glen, where he would frequently run and hike.
An extensive search, which included bloodhounds and multiple law enforcement agencies, found nothing at the time. Police reports say that days before Cefolia went missing he was contemplating selling his house, but did not show up for a meeting with his realtor.
A law enforcement source revealed to the news outlet that the divorced dad of two was under investigation during the time of his disappearance, but did not give any further details.
Cefolia was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for United Airlines, after nearly 15 years with the company.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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