If this story doesn’t interest you then by all means skip this post. However, I’ve been following this case every single day, so wanted to provide an update, since it has been a while, and the details just keep getting stranger.
A United Airlines executive has now been missing for four weeks, and there’s still no sign of him. Every day more details emerge, and it almost seems like each new detail raises more questions, rather than providing answers.
Before we get into the latest, if you have any information about the case, contact the Elmhurst Police Department at (630) 530-3050.
The basics of United executive’s disappearance
49-year-old Jake Cefolia is United Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. He has worked at the airline since 2007, and leads a team of up to 725 people.
Unfortunately Cefolia was last seen on Thursday, August 6, and was reported missing on Saturday, August 8. His car was found at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, not far from his home in Elmhurst. Police and volunteers have been searching that area, but haven’t had any luck yet.
Latest details about Cefolia’s disappearance
It has now been nearly a month since Cefolia went missing, and there still has been no sign of him. There’s a Facebook group set up to help find Cefolia, which now has around 1,200 members (there was a group before with more members, but it didn’t seem to be legit, as it was run by a guy who claimed to be “working with Zuck” on this case).
There’s some new information about the case that wasn’t previously available, obtained partly through FOIA requests. As I said above, the more information that is revealed, the stranger this case becomes. Here’s a brief summary of the currently publicly available info, roughly in chronological order:
- Elmhurst police was allegedly investigating Cefolia even before he went missing, though the details of that aren’t known, and he hasn’t been charged with anything; a city spokesperson said “we are unable to comment any further on this as it remains an active and ongoing investigation”
- Cefolia’s ex-wife claimed he had previously fantasized about “getting off the grid”
- Cefolia flew to San Francisco on August 4 to spend time with his girlfriend for her birthday, and the girlfriend claims she recently broke up with Cefolia, but he wanted to get back together; she said he didn’t make any concerning comments, but was drinking more than usual
- Cefolia was allegedly seeing a second woman, who he communicated with on August 6, she didn’t hear from him on August 7, and he missed the dinner they were supposed to have together on August 8
- On August 6, Cefolia returned from California, and had dinner with family at home, where he was allegedly intoxicated
- On August 7, Cefolia missed a corporate event; however, he was seen on video getting gas at around 9:15AM (his last credit card transaction), and was also seen on video entering Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve (where he would often jog), wearing hiking boots and khakis
- His car was parked in a gravel parking lot, and a search didn’t reveal anything suspicious — the car had golf clubs, a first aid kit, a sweatshirt, and a face mask
- He didn’t take any traceable devices with him, as his cell phone and Apple Watch were both found at home
- On August 8, Cefolia was reported missing
- On August 10, Cefolia’s family hired a private investigator
- Police and volunteers have carried out several searches of Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, and while some articles of clothing have been found, it’s not clear that any of them belonged to Cefolia
A few more things to note:
- We know nothing further about the criminal investigation that Cefolia was allegedly subject to prior to going missing
- Cefolia was trying to sell his Elmhurst home, and it hit the market on June 16, had a price reduction on July 16, and had a further price reduction on August 4 (two days before he went missing); it was allegedly under contract, but he missed the appointment with his real estate agent on August 6
- There’s video surveillance of Cefolia getting gas before going to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, where his car was found; he appears to have spent nearly three minutes putting gas in his car, which suggests he was filling the tank, rather than just topping it off because he was running low (his car is the Range Rover that can be seen in the distance for the second half of the video)
Why am I writing about this?
Obviously this is a very sad and tough situation, and I can’t even imagine what Cefolia’s family is going through. My goal with this post isn’t to speculate (and I’d encourage others not to speculate either), but rather to increase exposure of this situation:
- In the Facebook group dedicated to finding Cefolia, there’s shock about how little media attention this case has received
- Surely someone knows more about what happened, so the more exposure this gets, the better the chance that someone might come forward
I’m certainly hoping for the best, because this is simply an awful situation…
A United Airlines executive has been missing for four weeks now. He hasn’t been seen in person since August 6, though was caught on video getting gas, and then also entering Waterfall Glen Forest Reserve.
The new updates only make this situation even more confusing, given that they point to opposite conclusions. Hopefully we learn more soon. My thoughts are with Cefolia’s family and friends, especially as he has kids. I can’t imagine how tough it must be to deal with this uncertainty…