Search for Missing United Airlines Executive Continues

Jake Cefolia, SVP of Worldwide Sales at United Airlines
United Airlines

Jake Cefolia was last seen Aug. 6 when he went out for a run at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near Lemont,IL, say authorities.

The search continues for a missing United Airlines executive who has not been seen since Aug. 6, according to the airline. Jack Cefolia, senior vice president of worldwide sales, was reported missing on Aug. 8, two days after he presumably went for a run near his suburban Chicago home.

The Elmhurst Police Department is leading the missing person investigation that involved police K9 units and more than 100 volunteers actively searching for the 49-year-old.

An avid runner, Cefolia's vehicle was last discovered at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve near Lemont, according to authorities. Argonne National Laboratory surrounds the nature preserve that is 2,503 acres and is known for its waterfall.

"He commonly ran," Chief David Peterson with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County told ABC7 Chicago, "There is a nine or 10-mile loop at the forest preserve. We don't know for sure if he's still at the forest preserve, but at this point, there's been no contact with friends or family."

A dedicated Facebook page: "Help Find Jake Cefolia," created by Cefolia's friends and family, have organized separate searches on their own that are taking place daily. Volunteers have been using maps, photos, drones, and apps to help find the missing man at the preserve that some searchers describe as "heavily wooded and massive." 

One Facebook post described Cefolia as "a well-liked friend, family member & executive."

"He often took long jogs. I think he is in the forest & needs our help. Let's bring him in safely," said John Wynne.

In the meantime, prayers are being sent out by people all across the country - Dallas, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, New Jersey - posting hopeful messages: "Prayers4Jake&Family," and "Praying you find Jake safe."

Sonya Artero posted on the group's page. "My husband works with Jake in sales out of Hong Kong, and we are just heartbroken that he remains missing. My family, who lives around the world in Guam & California, is praying for his safe return. Our prayers are with him and his family."

Cefolia has been with United since 2007. In 2018, he started his current position as SVP, where he oversees "sales programs, services, relationships and revenue with corporations, travel management companies and distributors around the world."

He recently appeared on a webcast panel entitled. "Travel, Our Future and Yours: A Series of Conversations With Industry Leaders." 

United Airlines sent out a statement yesterday published on the page.

"Our friend and colleague, Jake Cefolia, SVP of Worldwide Sales, was last seen Thursday evening, Aug. 6. We're concerned about his well-being and have been in touch with Jake's family over the last couple of days to offer them our support. At the request of the family, we won't be releasing any additional details at this time."

United asked that if you have any information that could help locate Cefolia, please contact the Elmhurst Police Department at (630) 530-3050.

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