Authorities drilled through concrete outside a Michigan house on Friday in a fresh search for the body of Jimmy Hoffa, a powerful trade union leader with ties to organized crime whose disappearance in 1975 remains one of the most notorious unsolved police cases in U.S. history.
Workers drilled into the concrete floor of a shed attached to the driveway of the home, in the modest Michigan residential neighborhood of Roseville outside Detroit, and removed wet soil samples after receiving a tip-off that Hoffa, former leader of the Teamsters union, may be buried there.
Hoffa disappeared July 30, 1975 at the age of 62 outside a restaurant in Oakland County, Michigan, more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the dig site. He had planned to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit mafia captain later that day.
Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982.
The latest investigation into Hoffa’s disappearance began after police received a tip-off from a man, identified in U.S. media as a former gambler, who worked with a bookmaker that had ties to organized crime.
He said he saw a body being buried underneath the driveway 35 years ago and thinks it may have been Hoffa. Police say the man did not come forward sooner because he was scared.
Authorities will test the soil samples for signs of human decomposition and the results are expected next week.
Police are not holding out too much hope that they will find anything underneath the driveway what will help solve the Hoffa mystery, due to doubts over the timeline and likelihood that his body is buried there.
“It’s been our focus since the beginning that it’s just a cold case homicide, that possibly a body has been interred there. We have no idea who, and we’re going to attempt to find out,” James Berlin, Roseville Police Chief told MyFoxDetroit.com
Earlier tips led police to search beneath a backyard pool north of Detroit in 2003, rip up floorboards at a home in 2004, and excavate soil in 2006 at a horse farm more than 100 miles away from the city.
There were also rumors that Hoffa’s remains were ground up, tossed into a Florida swamp, and buried beneath a football stadium in New Jersey.