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Missing United Airlines exec Jake Cefolia is subject of criminal probe, police say

A senior executive at United Airlines who has been missing for over two weeks is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe, CrimeOnline has learned.

Jake Cefolia, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at United Airlines, was reported missing on August 8. Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth told CrimeOnline that Cefolia was last seen at his home in Elmhurst, Illinois, on August 6. His ex-wife reported him missing the following Saturday after she could not reach him by phone, and did not find him at home when she went to check on him that day.

Ruth told CrimeOnline that “a criminal investigation was underway” before Cefolia went missing, but said that he could not provide further specifics about the active investigation. Cefolia has not yet been charged with any crimes; nor have authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.

Chief David Pederson of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County confirmed that his agency located Cefolia’s car on August 8, parked adjacent to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, in an area where Pederson said it is not unusual for hikers or explorers to park. Both Pederson and Ruth said that Cefolia, 49, was known to go running there.

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The Elmurst Police Chief confirmed that the department had reviewed surveillance footage appearing to show Cefolia at a gas station sometime after he was last seen at his home on August 6. The footage is grainy, Ruth said, but Cefolia “was not wearing what appeared to be typical running clothes.”

Pederson earlier said that Cefolia had not been in communication with any of his known contacts since the week he was reported missing.

“We don’t know for sure he’s still at the forest preserve, but at this point there’s been no contact with family or friends,” Pederson told ABC 7 Chicago during the first week of the missing persons investigation.

Pederson told CrimeOnline that for two weeks, the law enforcement arm of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County performed daily searches of the preserve, sometimes using cadaver dogs. The searches so far have not yielded substantive evidence. Pederson said further canine searches would be conducted in the coming days.

The police report indicates that a family member was the last to see Cefolia at his home on August 6. The family member reportedly said that Cefolia, who lives alone, appeared to be intoxicated that evening.

The report also states that Cefolia “had been stressed out lately” due to work pressures. Cefolia’s ex-wife said that her ex-husband had sometimes fantasized about “going off the grid.”

The missing executive may also have been distraught about a recent breakup with a girlfriend who reportedly lives out of state.

Though there is no evidence at this time indicating foul play, Ruth said that investigators have not ruled it out. The police chief also said there is no indication Cefolia owns any firearms.

“We would like to find him and reunite him with his family, and [continue with] the other aspect that we have going on,” Ruth said.

CrimeOnline will provide further updates.

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