Workers find human remains at suburban Chicago preserve

Updated 10/23/2021 1:13 PM

DARIEN, Ill. -- Authorities are investigating whether human remains found at a suburban Chicago nature preserve could be those of a United Airlines executive who vanished more than a year ago.

Contractors found the remains Friday afternoon in an area of heavy brush and vegetation at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near Darien. The remains were found away from any trail in an area south of a campground for youth groups.


The remains were not able to be identified immediately, and the DuPage County coroner's office was notified, said DuPage County Forest Preserve District police Chief David Pederson.

Pederson said it did not seem like a natural cause of death but the coroner's office will make the official determination.

Elmhurst police have also been notified because the department received a missing persons report in August 2020 about Jacob Cefolia, 49, of Elmhurst. The United Airlines executive's ex-wife reported him missing after he failed to pick up his children for his scheduled visitation.

Cefolia's vehicle was found parked outside Waterfall Glen, but he was never found after a search that included multiple law enforcement agencies, volunteers and trained bloodhounds.

The Forest Preserve District is leading the death investigation.

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