Police Searched His House. He Was Found Dead Months Later

United exec Jake Cefolia disappeared in August
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2021 3:29 PM CDT
Remains of Exec Who Vanished After Police Visit Found
Authorities say Cefolia's body was found in an area with a dense tree canopy.   (Sybille Reuter/iStock/Getty Images)

A United Airlines executive who mysteriously disappeared in August was found dead in a nature preserve Sunday. Jake Cefolia was under criminal investigation when his ex-wife, Kristine Cefolia, reported him missing. Police say they found his remains hanging from a tree in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Illinois, People reports. Police showed up at Cefolia’s house on Aug. 6 with a search warrant—but he wasn’t charged with a crime. Later that evening, his teenage son came over for dinner, and told his mother afterward that his father had seemed very drunk. The next day, Cefolia vanished. His ex-wife reported him missing Aug. 8 after trying to contact him repeatedly.

Forest preserve officers found his car and searched the area with bloodhounds. Cefolia’s remains were found in an area that had been searched multiple times, by volunteers, search and rescue teams, and cadaver dogs. But the area has "a dense tree canopy, very thick briars, and dense vegetation," Forest Preserve District Police Chief David Pederson told NBC5. Investigators watched to see if his accounts were touched, and wondered if he was hiding but alive and well. His ex-wife had told police he "fantasized about going off the grid," People reports. Police haven’t said what they were looking for at Cefolia’s house. "What the heck could he be investigated for?" his friend David Burzynski said last summer. (More missing person stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.