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Search for missing United Airlines executive continues after police confirm Jake Cefolia was being investigated before his disappearance

Investigators with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County are continuing their search for a United Airlines executive who was reported missing from his Illinois home on August 8.

As CrimeOnline first reported, Elmhurst police disclosed on Monday that 49-year-old Jake Cefolia of Elmhurst is the subject of a criminal investigation that began prior to his disappearance earlier this month. Cefolia is the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at United Airlines, and his last confirmed sighting was on August 6.

Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth said the investigation is ongoing, and that he was unable to comment on the specifics of the criminal probe. He noted that Cefolia has not been charged with any crimes, and as of Monday, Elmhurst police had not issued a warrant for his arrest.

CrimeOnline is awaiting comment from the Elmhurst Police Department about the current status of the investigation.

Chief David Pederson from the Department of Law Enforcement for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County confirmed on Tuesday that his department is continuing to search for Cefolia at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, after the airline executive’s car was found in a nearby parking lot the weekend he was reported missing.

“Our agency has been aware of the ongoing investigation lead by Elmhurst Police Department,” Pederson wrote in an email on Tuesday. “With that said we treated our search efforts as if [Cefolia] was in the preserve both for his safety and for the sake of his family and friends.  We searched the area very heavily, but again we do not know if indeed he is in the preserve.”

CrimeOnline obtained an incident report documenting the discovery of Cefolia’s vehicle in a gravel parking lot adjacent to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve on August 8. In the early morning hours of that Saturday, a deputy from the DuPage Sheriff’s Department twice ran the registration of a Land Rover belonging to Cefolia, before he was reported missing. Later that night, a law enforcement officer from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ran the car’s registration again, apparently from the same location, and the license plate number triggered a missing and endangered persons alert. The incident report notes that nothing suspicious was observed in the vehicle on the night of August 8. Multiple agencies and two K-9 units began searching for Cefolia that night.

Both Pederson and Ruth said that Cefolia was known to go running at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

As previously reported, Pederson said that his agency and others had performed daily searches of the forest preserve for two weeks since Cefolia was first reported missing. The physical search will continue, though no longer on a daily basis. Pederson said that a K-9 search and rescue organization would be providing trained dogs, not used in previous searches for Cefolia, for an additional search of the preserve on Wednesday, September 2.

“We will continue to put effort and resources that are appropriate to help locate Jacob Cefolia, with that is an understanding that the area has been searched repeatedly by various means,” Pederson said.

CrimeOnline will continue to update this developing story.

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