Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Update: Soil Tests at Michigan Hoffa Search Site Come Back Negative

The news from Detroit is that the soil tests at the police dig site in Roseville, Michigan, have come up negative for human decomposition. Police and the Department of Environmental Quality performed ground-penetrating radar scans last week and determined that there was something, a mass, buried under a shed. On September 28 they dug down 10 feet below the floor of the shed, pulling out four-foot long soil-filled tubes, that they sent off for testing. The results, announced late in the day on October 2, indicate that the mass is not a human body and that there are no traces of human remains in the soil.

Police were alerted to the site when a dying tipster told them that he had witnessed the disposal of a body in the floor of the shed, which at the time was a dirt floor. The tipster thought that it could have been the body of missing, presumed dead teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. Though detectives thought the timeline was off, they did investigate the possibility of a homicide victim having been dumped there. The current property owners are probably relieved that the search was called off with relatively little damage done. The last time police got a tip about a possible Hoffa burial site in 2006, they destroyed a barn in Milford Township following up on it.

The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

The house in Rosedale, Michigan, where police are searching for decades-old human remains.

The house in Roseville, Michigan, where police are searching for decades-old human remains.

Suburban Detroit Police Searching for Hoffa Remains?

Police in Roseville, Michigan, are reportedly searching for a body under a driveway after receiving a tip from an unnamed terminal cancer patient that he saw a body being buried there 35 years ago, two years after union leader Jimmy Hoffa went missing. The chance that a homicide victim could have been interred below the suburban Detroit driveway was enough to prompt a search of the area with ground-penetrating radar, which, Roseville Police Chief James Berlin told reporters, confirmed “that the earth had been disturbed at some point in time.” He continued saying, “We are not claiming it’s Jimmy Hoffa, the timeline doesn’t add up. We’re investigating a body that may be at the location.”

Investigators’ next step will be to test the ground for the evidence of human decomposition. Soil samples taken this Friday will be sent for analysis and should return results early next week.

The driveway is at the back of a house that at the time may have been usedĀ for gambling and running numbers. Hoffa was last seen outside the Machus Red Fox Restaurant, a suburban Detroit restaurant located in Bloomfield, Michigan, in the back seat of a maroon 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham. He was supposed to meet Detroit mobster Anthony Tony Jack Giacalone and New Jersey labor leader Anthony Tony Pro Provenzano, who also happened to be a made member of the Genovese crime family, for lunch, but they never showed.

Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982, but his case remains open. The FBI has made no comment on the activity in Roseville.

The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

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