The Herald Bulletin

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June 18, 2013

Still no Hoffa after 1st day of latest search

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Federal agents revived the hunt for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa on Monday, digging around in a suburban Detroit field where a reputed Mafia captain says the Teamsters boss' body was buried.

Authorities used excavation equipment to root around in the Oakland Township property, about 25 miles north of Detroit. The FBI halted the search for the day at about 7 p.m., and planned to resume their efforts on Tuesday.

Robert Foley, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit division, made a few brief comments during a news conference about the latest search for union leader who went missing in 1975. He said the warrant to search the property was sealed, and that authorities wouldn't be disclosing the details of what they were seeking.

Foley didn't mention the name of Tony Zerilli, the reputed Mafia captain who told Detroit TV station WDIV in February that he knew where Hoffa was buried. Zerilli, who promoting a book, "Hoffa Found," said the FBI had enough information for a search warrant to dig at the site, and that he had answered every question from agents and prosecutors.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, who joined Foley at a news conference, said it was his "fondest hope" to bring closure for Hoffa's family and the community.

Hoffa, Teamsters president from 1957-71, was an acquaintance of mobsters and an adversary of federal officials. The day in 1975 when he disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant, he was supposed to be meeting with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain.

Since then, multiple leads to his remains have turned out to be red herrings.

In September, police took soil from a suburban backyard after a tip Hoffa had been buried there. It was just one of many fruitless searches. Previous tips led police to a horse farm northwest of Detroit in 2006, a Detroit home in 2004 and a backyard pool two hours north of the city in 2003.

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