Missing United Airlines Executive Found Dead in Illinois Forest Preserve

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
October 25, 2021 Updated: October 25, 2021

The body of a United Airlines executive who went missing more than a year ago was found in an Illinois forest preserve over the past weekend, officials said.

DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said in a statement that a body was found in the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, located near Chicago, last week.

The coroner’s office confirmed the identity of the body as Jacob Cefolia, 50, of Elmhurst.

“A cause and manner of death have not been determined and remains under investigation,” the office said, adding that it has no more details about the incident.

Cefolia, who was United Airlines’ director of worldwide sales, was last seen at a gas station in Elmhurst, Illinois, on Aug. 7, 2020. His car was found at the forest preserve the next day, according to local reports last year.

Investigators most recently searched the forest preserve in April 2021. Local affiliate station Fox32, citing information obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, reported that officials searched the forested area about 10 times since Cefolia went missing.

DuPage Forest Preserve Police Chief David Pederson told the Chicago Sun-Times that no foul play was suspected in his death. He noted that Cefolia’s driver’s license, backpack, and other personal items were found near his body last week.

“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 [brings] closure to his family and friends.”

A spokesperson for United Airlines, which is based in Chicago, issued a statement after his death was confirmed.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” the spokesperson said. “And we remain grateful for the support and prayers that so many of our employees—including Jake’s co-workers—have shared with one another and on his behalf over the past year.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.