No sign of Jimmy Hoffa’s remains under New Jersey bridge, FBI says

DETROIT — America’s most famous missing person is still missing.

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The FBI on Thursday said it found no evidence of the remains of missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa during a search of a stretch of land under New Jersey’s Pulaski Skyway, The Associated Press reported.

Hoffa, 62, was last seen on July 30, 1975, in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, where he was scheduled to meet with reputed Detroit mob enforcer Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone and alleged New Jersey mob figure Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano, History.com and the AP reported.

Hoffa called his wife at about 2:15 p.m. EDT that day from a pay telephone outside the Machus Red Fox restaurant and told her no one showed up for his meeting. He has not been seen since.

The decades-old search turned to a patch of land under the bridge near Jersey City in October after a worker on his deathbed in 2008 claimed he buried Hoffa’s body underground in a steel drum, The New York Times reported.

“Nothing of evidentiary value was discovered during that search,” Mara Schneider, an FBI spokesperson in Detroit, told the AP. “While we do not currently anticipate any additional activity at the site, the FBI will continue to pursue any viable lead in our efforts to locate Mr. Hoffa.”

FBI agents armed with a search warrant arrived at site on Oct. 25, 2021, to conduct a “site survey,” the agency told the Times last year.

The search had centered around a former landfill where a dying man, Paul Cappola Sr., claimed he buried Hoffa in 1975 shortly after his disappearance, the Times reported on Thursday.

Hoffa was supposed to be buried in a landfill, but Cappola said he secretly changed the location in the middle of the night, his son, Frank Cappola said in a sworn statement. The elder Cappola believed the landfill, long associated with organized crime, was under surveillance, so he picked a nearby spot off the property, the Times reported.

“My father, who didn’t trust anybody, decided to dig a second hole with a company excavator and to place Hoffa in that location,” Frank Cappola later wrote in a sworn statement.

Journalist Dan Moldea, who has written extensively about Hoffa, including the “The Hoffa Wars” in 1978, said he was personally briefed by the FBI in a video conference call Thursday. Frank Cappola shared the account with Moldea, the Times reported.

Moldea added that the FBI and its contractors did not dig in the exact spot that he had recommended.

“I’m not thrilled with the result,” Moldea told the AP. “My impression today was them breaking the bad news to me: ‘Thanks for the tip but this is over.’ That’s my interpretation.”

Hoffa had resigned from the Teamsters presidency after going to prison. In 1965, a federal jury in Chattanooga, Tennessee., convicted Hoffa of conspiring to accept illegal payments from a trucking company and later of trying to funnel a $10,000 bribe to the son of one of the jurors, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Hoffa began a 13-year prison sentence in March 1967, according to History.com. President Richard Nixon commuted the sentence in 1971, and Hoffa quickly began making a comeback within the Teamster leadership until his disappearance.

“I’m more than happy to accept this verdict,” Moldea told the Times on Thursday. “But there is one lingering issue that I believe remains unresolved. This is a stone left unturned.”