Remains Found at Waterfall Glen Identified as Missing Elmhurst Man

News Release

Remains Found at Waterfall Glen Identified as Missing Elmhurst Man

Autopsy confirms identity

(Oct. 24, 2021) — An autopsy Saturday confirmed the remains found at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien on Friday are that of 50-year-old Jacob Cefolia of Elmhurst, who was reported missing in August 2020.

A forensic odonatologist examined dental records and positively identified the remains as belonging to Cefolia, according to DuPage County coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen. The cause and manner of death have not been determined.

DuPage Forest Preserve Police Chief David Pederson said there were no signs of foul play, and the matter is part of an ongoing death investigation.

Contractors working at Waterfall Glen on Friday found human remains south of the youth-group campground. Cefolia was reported missing on Aug. 8, 2020, and his vehicle was found parked outside Waterfall Glen. Cefolia was never found despite an extensive search of the 2,503-acre forest preserve that included multiple police agencies, volunteers and trained bloodhounds.

Cefolia was found hanging by a belt from an uprooted tree, Pederson said. Cefolia’s wallet, driver’s license, and a backpack with other personal belonging were also found at the scene, police said. Clothing matching the description of what Cefolia was last seen wearing on the day he was reported missing was also recovered, Pederson said.

Cefolia was found in an area that had been searched multiple times. The area has a dense tree canopy, very thick briars and dense vegetation, and was not near where police found Cefolia’s vehicle parked, Pederson said.

“On behalf of the Forest Preserve District, I would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” Pederson said. “We hope this at least bring closure to his family and friends.”

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blogFacebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.


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