The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

June 20, 2013

FBI ends Michigan search for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Beneath a swimming pool, under a horse farm and now a weed-grown field north of Detroit. For at least the third time in a decade, FBI agents grabbed shovels and combed through dirt and mud in the search for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains or clues to the disappearance of the former Teamsters boss.

Once again, the search was futile.

“Certainly, we’re disappointed,” Detroit FBI chief Robert Foley told reporters Wednesday as federal and local authorities wrapped up another excavation that failed to turn up anything that could be linked to Hoffa, who has been missing since 1975.

Many people interested in the mystery assume Hoffa ran afoul of the mob and was whacked.

“Right now the case remains open,” Foley said. “At this point, if we do get logical leads and enough probable cause that warrant the resources to do an investigation, then we’ll continue to do so.”

The latest search for Hoffa’s remains was prompted by a tip from reputed ex-Mafia captain Tony Zerilli. About 40 FBI agents searched a small field surrounded by trees and a gravel road in Oakland Township. With the aid of a backhoe, they spent about 10 hours in the field Monday and another 10 Tuesday before calling it quits about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“We’re always hopeful that we’ll get a lead that will lead us to a position in which we can conclude this investigation,” said Foley, “both for the process of justice but also for the family.”

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