A tube of dirt could tell if Jimmy Hoffa's remains are under driveway

11:01 AM, Sep 28, 2012   |    comments
Jimmy Hoffa in 1975
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Roseville, Florida (Free Press) -- When authorities dig into a Roseville driveway today in search of potential human remains -- possibly those of missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, according to a tipster -- they'll take a tube full of soil and have it examined by a forensic anthropologist.

Police are skeptical an anomaly spotted underneath the driveway with ground-penetrating radar will turn out to be the remains of Hoffa, who vanished from a restaurant parking lot in Oakland County in 1975, and who a tipster says is under the driveway.

"The time line doesn't add up, but we do believe there may be something down there," Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said.

To find out what's under the driveway of the home in the 18700 block of Florida, Berlin said, authorities from the state's Department of Environmental Quality will take a soil sample. He said a drill will be used to bore a cylinder -- roughly 4 inches wide and 6 feet long -- into the ground after a small portion of concrete is removed from the driveway.

He said Roseville is not being charged for the soil-sample retrieval, adding it's being treated as mutual aid.

"Our goal is to minimize the damage to their property as much as possible," Berlin said of the homeowner.

Once the tube of earth is brought up, it will be capped at both ends and hand-delivered to a forensic anthropologist at Michigan State University, Berlin said. He said he hopes to have the results next week.

If the anthropologist discovers traces of human remains, he said, the driveway will be excavated.

The homeowner declined to be interviewed Wednesday.

Hoffa, 62, disappeared on July 30, 1975, from the parking lot of the former Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township. He had gone there for a reconciliation meeting with Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano, a mob-connected New Jersey Teamsters official, and Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, a Detroit mafia captain.

The FBI theorized the men had Hoffa, who ran the union in 1957-71, killed to prevent him from regaining the Teamsters presidency and ending the mob's influence over the union and access to pension funds.

Hoffa's body has never been found, and no one has been charged in his disappearance.

Police said ground-penetrating radar revealed an anomaly about 2 feet underground. Berlin cautioned the anomaly could be a dead dog or a tree root.

"We are not making the assumption it's Jimmy Hoffa," he has said. "We do not believe it's Jimmy Hoffa."

This week's search is the latest of many. In 2006, the FBI spent 14 days digging at a horse farm in Milford in an unsuccessful effort to find Hoffa's remains.

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