In the latest twist in the 37-year-old search for missing Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa, police removed a soil sample from behind a private home in suburban Detroit yesterday after a tip that a body may be buried there.
The dramatic life story of the union leader inspired the 1992 movie ' Hoffa', starring Jack Nicholson. He disappeared in July 1975 in what authorities believe may have been an organised crime hit. Investigators have followed up thousands of leads over the decades but no remains have been found.
More than a hundred onlookers, including TV camera crews and curious neighbours, watched from behind yellow tape as investigators took the sample from inside a large backyard shed. The sample will be analysed by a forensic scientist from Michigan State University. Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said results are expected on Monday.
Mr Hoffa, the father of current Teamsters president James Hoffa, led the union from 1957 to 1971, spending the final years of his term in prison for fraud and jury tampering. He was released in late 1971 when President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence.
"This is a cold-case homicide investigation, not a search for Jimmy Hoffa," Mr Berlin said.