Jacob Cefolia

An autopsy on Oct. 23 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 odontologist 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 Oct. 22 found human remains south of the youth-group campground. Cefolia, a United Airlines executive, 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.

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.”


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