Remains Of Missing United Airlines Executive Found

Remains Of Missing United Airlines Executive Found

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Hopefully this at least brings some closure to the family…

Basics of the United executive who went missing

In August 2020 I wrote about a United Airlines executive who went missing. 49-year-old (at the time) Jake Cefolia was United Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, and led a team of around 725 people.

The circumstances surrounding his disappearance were quite strange:

  • Cefolia was under criminal investigation, and the day before he vanished, the police executed a search warrant on his home
  • Cefolia’s car was found at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near his home in Elmhurst; this is a place where he’d apparently frequently go jogging, but in this case he was wearing hiking boots and khakis, and also left his cell phone behind
  • Even though several thorough searched had been conducted of Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, there were no signs of him… until now

Jake Cefolia remains found in forest

On Friday, human remains were discovered at Glen Forest Preserve, and dental records have confirmed that these do in fact belong to Jake Cefolia. So he has been found over 14 months later, in exactly the same area where his car was.

On Friday morning a contractor who was removing invasive species in the area had contacted police about possible human remains in the 700-acre park. Apparently the contractor came across “human remains hanging from a low hanging tree.”

The remains were apparently located in a very thick covered bush area, “so you can be 10 feet away and not see it.”

The cause and manner of the death haven’t yet been determined. How tragic, especially since Cefolia has young children. Hopefully this can give Cefolia’s family and friends some sort of closure, and the ability to start the healing process.

We still don’t know what actually unfolded here, though hopefully a further investigation can now be conducted to determine that. I imagine the police knows a lot more than we do, especially since we have no clue what he was under criminal investigation for.

Suffice to say that there are a lot of mixed clues here, and I still don’t necessarily think there’s an obvious explanation of what happened, at least based on what’s publicly available.

Bottom line

The remains of missing United Airlines executive Jake Cefolia were found on Friday, well over 14 months after he went missing. His remains were found in the same park where his car was. Even though several searches were done of the 700-acre park, it wasn’t until now that his remains were found.

I hope that Cefolia’s family and friends get some closure from this news, and hopefully an investigation can be completed into what exactly happened.

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  1. Vanessa S Guest

    I live 5 minutes from Watefall Glen And have biked and hiked through several times. This place is flooded with people on a daily basis, and during the pandemic you could not find a parking spot. It is fishy that he was just found now near his car.

  2. Nabil Guest

    May he Rest In Peace. Really sad for his family. He was a good guy , don't know what criminal investigation there was but he was also stressed on laying off many of his colleagues following the airline downturn due to covid-19

  3. Richard Plinz Guest

    There are serious and interesting unanswered questions that have not been adequately vetted. Cefolia was known to be under criminal investigation by the local police. It didn't seem to be United Airlines related, so there's that. And the family's silence, and disinterest in looking for him in this park when several searches were organized also seemed quite odd.

    I for one believe that additional follow-up IS required. Was United Airlines financially impacted? If there...

    There are serious and interesting unanswered questions that have not been adequately vetted. Cefolia was known to be under criminal investigation by the local police. It didn't seem to be United Airlines related, so there's that. And the family's silence, and disinterest in looking for him in this park when several searches were organized also seemed quite odd.

    I for one believe that additional follow-up IS required. Was United Airlines financially impacted? If there was a criminal investigation, I'm sure the victim or victims will want some closure as well. This is hardly a straight-up suicide.

    Since this happened over a year ago, I managed to stop by this park when I was in the Chicago area. I completely understand how the body could have been missed. It is extremely dense, original growth woods and is maintained in the "natural" state as a security buffer to the Argonne National Laboratory, just adjacent. If it *WAS* a suicide and he was found in the manner described, I can easily understand how he could have been missed in this area.

  4. Joey Diamond

    May he rest in peace. Thank you for updating us. What I found odd is how the police search dogs didn't trace his scent during the searches.

  5. Lisa Guest

    Thank you for the update. I’ve often wondered what happened to him in the end.

  6. sb Guest

    thanks for closing the loop on this...so sad in so many ways

  7. Josh Guest

    If you don’t like the stories/articles posted, maybe don’t visit the site. There are articles on the internet about knitting. I dont read them because I don’t knit. But I don’t go around complaining about it. Just move along.

  8. Greg Guest

    Sorry to hear for his family and friends - held out some hope he had started over in private somewhere else and his family was aware.

    Still puzzled the family wasn't more publicly vocal about finding him when he was missing.

  9. NYGuy24 New Member

    It is widely reported the guy was hanging from the tree by a belt and no foul play is suspected. Out of respect for his family and friends hopefully this will be the last article you write about this person's death. There is no real mystery here about what happened. Let these people grieve in peace moving forward. They have suffered enough.

    1. Steve Gold

      Well out of respect Ben did not include those details and wrote a very respectful article.

      But i guess some people just want to wake up everyday and complain about something not sure why you can be mad about this or even pretend to be outraged by it. It was a simple update to a story this blog has been covering.

      Thanks for posting this update!

  10. SkepticFlyer Guest

    @JohnT this is an airline blog and a major airline executive was just found dead...not sure which part of that is irrelevant

  11. John T Guest

    I don't know why you keep writing about this.

    What does this have to do with anything.

    1. jordan23 Guest

      so you should be the one to decide what does or doesn't get posted in someone else's blog?

    2. MMc Guest

      It’s related to the travel industry, so it’s at the very least a human interest story within the industry and totally appropriate to mention, news-wise. But in additional to that, I’d like to know what the fallout of his disappearance was on his department or the airline, although I suspect it managed fine and COVID probably became front and center anyhow. Also, were the criminal charges related in any way to his job, and if so, how does that affect the airlines?

    3. Chris Guest

      Apparently enough to make you click on it.

  12. Creditcrunch Gold

    May he rest in peace and his family and friends find closure to this very sad incident.

  13. Jill Martin Guest

    Thanks for the conclusion of a very strange & sad story. I find it interesting that the news media here in Chicago barely covered this story. Especially given the fact United based here.

    1. jordan23 Guest

      been front page since discovery

  14. JohnHam New Member

    Glad there's some closure now.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Wait what closure?
      We still don't know what the investigation is about.

      After he disappeared for a month we all know he had a new life (metaphorically or literally).
      Same goes when someone took out the Laundry.

      The dirty gossip is what closure is. How did OJ do it, where is DB Cooper, who killed Tupac, etc.

      Why don't we keep DB Cooper on front page everyday until we find out who he is.

      No closure for the public.

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jordan23 Guest

so you should be the one to decide what does or doesn't get posted in someone else's blog?

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David Guest

Yet you read it and comment on it.

4
MMc Guest

It’s related to the travel industry, so it’s at the very least a human interest story within the industry and totally appropriate to mention, news-wise. But in additional to that, I’d like to know what the fallout of his disappearance was on his department or the airline, although I suspect it managed fine and COVID probably became front and center anyhow. Also, were the criminal charges related in any way to his job, and if so, how does that affect the airlines?

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