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MISSING MAN FOUND DECEASED | Jake Cefolia, United Airlines Sales Executive of Elmhurst, Found


Autopsy Confirms Identity

An autopsy Saturday confirmed the remains found at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien on Friday are that of 50-year-old Jacob Cefolia of Elmhurst, who was reported missing in August 2020. A forensic odonatologist examined dental records and positively identified the remains as Cefolia, according to DuPage County coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen.

The cause and manner of death have not been determined. DuPage Forest Preserve Police Chief David Pederson said there were no signs of foul play, and the matter is part of an ongoing death investigation. Contractors working at Waterfall Glen on Friday found human remains south of the youth-group campground.

Cefolia was reported missing on Aug. 8, 2020, and his vehicle was found parked outside Waterfall Glen. Cefolia was never found despite an extensive search of the 2,503-acre forest preserve that included multiple police agencies, volunteers and trained bloodhounds.

The United Airlines executive was first reported missing in August 2020, after his ex-wife Kristine Cefolia told authorities that he failed to show up for his night with the kids. His car was found hours later, parked outside Waterfall Glen — an area he was said to frequently run and hike.

Police reports say that days before Cefolia went missing he was in talks to sell his house, but failed to show up for a meeting with his realtor.

According to NBC 5, a law enforcement source revealed to the news outlet that the divorced dad of two was under investigation during the time of his disappearance, but wouldn't share any further details.

According to LinkedIn, Cefolia was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for United Airlines, after nearly 15 years with the company.

Cefolia was found hanging by a belt from an uprooted tree, Pederson said. Cefolia’s wallet, driver’s license, and a backpack with other personal items were also found at the scene, police said. Clothing that matched the description of what Cefolia was last seen wearing on the day he was reported missing was also recovered at the scene, Pederson said.

Cefolia was found in an area that 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, Pederson said. “On behalf of the Forest Preserve District, I would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” Pederson said. “We hope this at least bring closure to his family and friends.”

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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