Hoffa remains: Who told FBI to look near Detroit?
Hoffa remains: The search for Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa's remains continues Tuesday. Tony Zerilli said that Hoffa was buried beneath a concrete slab in a barn in a field in suburban Detroit in 1975. Digging on Monday turned up no sign of Hoffa.
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Oakland Township, Mich.
The FBI saw enough merit in a reputed Mafia captain's tip to once again break out the digging equipment to search for the remains of former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, last seen alive before a lunch meeting with two mobsters nearly 40 years ago.
Tony Zerilli told his lawyer that Hoffa was buried beneath a concrete slab in a barn in a field in suburban Detroit in 1975. The barn no longer exists, and a full day of digging Monday turned up no sign of Hoffa. Federal agents were to resume the search Tuesday.
Zerilli, 85, told Detroit television station WDIV in February that he knew the location of the remains, and his lawyer, David Chasnick, said Zerilli was "thrilled" that investigators were acting on the information.
"This has finally come to an end. It has been an arduous project to get to this point," Chasnick said. "Hoffa's body is somewhere in that field, no doubt about it."
Detroit FBI chief Robert Foley made no mention of Zerilli's claims, merely saying investigators had obtained a warrant to search the field in Oakland Township, 25 miles north of Detroit.
Zerilli was convicted of organized crime and was in prison when Hoffa disappeared. But he told New York TV station WNBC in January that he was informed about Hoffa's whereabouts after his release. Chasnick said he is "intimately involved" with people who know where the body is buried.
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.