Jacob Cefolia, an executive for United Airlines, went missing well over a year ago at this point. This past Sunday, a set of human remains were found hanging out in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve located in Darien, Illinois. The remains were later identified as Cefolia in the wake of an autopsy.
As reported by the New York Post, Cefolia, aged 50, was found hanging by a belt in the preserve, and that his driver’s license, along with his wallet, was discovered at the scene as well. A travel backpack with a few personal belongings was also found in the same area. Clothing that seemed to match the description of what Cefolia had been seen last in at the time of his disappearance was also discovered and, as of now, “foul play is not suspected,” stated the outlet.
“Cefolia was reported missing on Aug. 8, 2020. His vehicle was found parked outside the nature preserve, but his body was never found despite a major multi-agency search of the 2,500-acre (4-square-mile) forest,” stated the Post. “Police said 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.”
The body was later identified as Cefolia by the use of dental records.
“On behalf of the Forest Preserve District, I would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” stated David Pederson, the DuPage County Forest Preserve Chief, this past Sunday. “We hope this at least bring closure to his family and friends.”
The news release from county officials stated that the death is part of an ongoing investigation and was discovered by a group of contractors that were performing work in the area.
This past Monday, People put out an article that reminded its readers that Cefolia had been the center point of a criminal investigation when he disappeared, though the news outlet did not have any idea what he was actually being investigated for. People originally reported on the criminal investigation back in February, which was a few months after the executive was originally reported missing by his ex-wife, Kristine. The news outlet stated that friends said that Cefolia seemed fairly normal in the weeks prior to his disappearance. Back on the 24th of July, a friend who often texted with Cefolia stated that his overall demeanor was “Warm, friendly, upbeat and talking about the future.” People went on to say:
Just two weeks later, however, Cefolia’s own future turned upside down. After the 49-year-old father missed picking up his teen twins from ex-wife Kristine Cefolia for his scheduled night with them—and wasn’t responding to any of her calls—she contacted police. “This is totally out of character,” she said in a 911 call reporting him missing on Aug. 8, two days after he was last seen in his Elmhurst, Ill., home. “Something’s just absolutely not right.” In a matter of hours Cefolia’s car was discovered abandoned in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in nearby DuPage County. Police—who later revealed that Cefolia was under criminal investigation for reasons they would not identify, citing the open case—fanned out to search the area but came up empty-handed. Six months and multiple searches employing dogs, drones and helicopters later, Cefolia’s whereabouts are still a mystery, and his loved ones are left without answers. “It’s so strange,” says friend Kevin Iwamoto. “Here we are months later, and there’s no new information. That’s what makes this unsettling. There’s just no closure.”
The outlet went on to state that Cefolia started to behave very “erratic” before his sudden disappearance.