ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Authorities drilled through concrete and removed wet soil samples in a modest Detroit-area neighborhood today in the latest effort to find the remains of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared in 1975.
There was no immediate sign of human remains, but test results could be ready by Monday, Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said. “We’re not sure if anything is down there. That’s what this is all about,” he said.
They drilled the concrete floor of a shed attached to a driveway where a recent radar test revealed a shift in the soil. The latest investigation was launched after a man told police he saw a body being buried under the driveway 35 years ago and “thinks it may have been Jimmy.”
Could this search solve the mystery? Don’t get excited: Authorities have already said they don’t think the timeline adds up and it’s unlikely Hoffa’s body is there. He was last seen July 30, 1975, outside a restaurant in Oakland County, more than 30 miles to the west.
The homeowner, Patricia Szpunar, 72, has lived there since 1988. She said her son uses the 12-by-12 shed to store two workbenches and his motorcycle.
Police detectives appeared two weeks ago and said they may need to search her yard for a dead body. “I laughed at them,” Szpunar said today as the work began. “I looked at them and said, ‘What? Do you think Jimmy Hoffa is buried in my backyard?’ ... They just looked at me, and asked why I said Jimmy Hoffa.”
Recently retired Detroit FBI chief Andrew Arena is among the doubters. “You’ve got to check it out, but this doesn’t sound right,” he said. “The working theories that have developed over the years, this really doesn’t fit any of those.”
Berlin said he’s not claiming Hoffa is under the slab, but they are “investigating a body that may be at the location.” He said the home may have been owned in the 1970s by a gambler with ties to organized crime.