Skeletal remains of United Airlines executive Jake Cefolia found in nature preserve

The skeletal remains of a United Airlines executive were discovered Friday at a suburban Illinois nature preserve, officials say.

On October 22, authorities found the body of Jacob Cefolia in the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, about 23 miles southwest of Chicago. Entrepreneurs made the discovery, according to The Associated Press.

Cefolia was found hanging from a belt tied to an uprooted tree, officials confirmed. His wallet, along with his driver’s license and backpack were also found at the scene. He was apparently wearing clothes that matched a description of what he was last seen before disappearing last year.

A forensic odontologist, who reviewed the 50-year-old’s dental records, confirmed the identity of the airline executive. A autopsy was played on Cefolia over the weekend, but the cause and circumstances of his death have yet to be revealed.

Officials do not suspect foul play in Cefolia’s death.

“On behalf of the District of Forest Preserve, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” DuPage County Forest Preserve District Police Chief David Pederson said in a statement. declaration. “We hope at least that [brings] closed to family and friends.

Richard A. Jorgensen, the DuPage County coroner, confirmed Monday that no additional information was immediately available.

Cefolia was reported missing to Elmhurst police on August 8, 2020 by his ex-wife after he failed to collect his children for a scheduled visitation, the Associated Press reported.

His Range Rover Sport was located near Waterfall Glen on the same day. A note to his family was found in the SUV, officials said. Investigators also located a golf bag, set of clubs and $120 cash in the trunk of the vehicle, NBC Chicago reported.

According to authorities, the last purchase recorded on his credit card was for gasoline at a Shell station in Elmhurst, Illinois, for a total of $59.50.

A widespread search of the 2,503-acre forest reserve, which included multiple police departments, search dogs, as well as search and rescue volunteers, yielded no clues as to his whereabouts.

Cefolia often ran outdoors, traversing the wide forest trails outside of Darien, Illinois.

Cefolia worked as vice president of worldwide sales for United Airlines. He had been employee by the airline since 2007, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Cefolia, who has flown around the world for work, has visited Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and London on business trips for the airline.

“We were saddened to hear the news from our former colleague Jake and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” a United Airlines spokesperson said. in a statement Monday afternoon. “And we remain grateful for the support and prayers that so many of our employees – including Jake’s colleagues – have shared with each other and on his behalf over the past year.”

No other information was released by law enforcement this week.

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