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Feds Call Off Latest Search For Jimmy Hoffa
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Feds Call Off Latest Search For Jimmy Hoffa



Federal officials in Michigan say they are calling off the latest search for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. The FBI began looking for the former Teamsters boss two weeks ago, saying they were following the most credible tip they had received about Hoffa's disappearance in years.

Detroit Public Radio's Quinn Klinefelter has more.


About two weeks ago the FBI began using heavy digging equipment and cadaver sniffing dogs to search a Detroit area horse farm for Hoffa's remains. Now the bureau's Judy Chilen says yet another search for the long missing former Teamsters boss has come up dry.

Ms. JUDY CHILEN (Federal Bureau of Investigation): After a thorough and comprehensive search, no remains of Mr. Hoffa have been located. And absent any additional new information, our work here has been concluded.

KLINEFELTER: But Chilen insists that the effort was neither a waste of FBI resources nor a waste of time.

Ms. CHILEN: We hope this sends a message to those involved in organized crime activities that the FBI does not give up and will pursue all logical investigations, no matter how much time has passed.

KLINEFELTER: Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975. Exactly what happened to him has become the stuff of mystery and legend. In 2003, investigators dug beneath a backyard pool a few hours north of the city. The next year police tore up floorboards in a Detroit home to test blood stains that turned out not to be Hoffa's.

Detroit News reporter David Shepardson, who's covered the Hoffa case for years, notes that the latest tip came from an imprisoned former associate of the farm's owner, who said Hoffa was buried beneath a barn once used as a regular meeting place for organized crime figures.

Mr. DAVID SHEPARDSON (Detroit News): This is another in a string of dying prisoners with ties to mobsters who have said that they knew where Hoffa was buried. And they've all turned out not to be true.

KLINEFELTER: The FBI deployed 50 agents in the search and now must rebuild the barn it tore down to look for Hoffa's remains. The FBI insists the Hoffa case remains open and it will continue its investigation into his disappearance.

Michigan Congressman Joe Knollenberg yesterday publicly questioned the cost involved and said the FBI should set time and spending limits in its search. The bureau called off the effort to find Hoffa's remains one day after the congressman's comments.

For NPR News, I'm Quinn Klinefelter in Detroit.

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