The vanishing of Alan White and Jake Cefolia

UPDATE – On October 22, 2021, human remains were found hanging from a tree in the Lemont forest preserve – the last place Jake Cefolia was seen.

On May 13, 2021, Alan White’s remains were found in a wooded area.

Scroll to the bottom of each blog segment for the latest.

Two successful businessmen, both last seen getting gas for their vehicles. And then, never seen again. What happened to Alan White from Dallas, TX and Jake Cefolia from Elmhurt, IL?

Alan White, 55, a KPMG executive, disappeared after an early morning workout at an LA Fitness in Dallas, Texas, October 22, 2020.

Alan was recorded at 5:38a.m., leaving LA Fitness on Haskell Avenue. Shortly after, at 5:47a.m., he was recorded pumping gas at a RaceTrac. This would be the last known time he was seen.

At the time of Alan’s disappearance he was driving a loaner Porsche Macan while his car was being serviced.

Alan was wearing a red tank top, dark gym shorts and red shoes. He also had a two tone navy and maroon Coach sling bag in his possession. (His missing persons poster says grey tank top but was later confirmed red in surveillance footage.)

Rusty Jenkins, Maralu Craven(Alan’s mother) & Alan White

Rusty Jenkins, White’s partner of 18 years, became concerned when Alan was late arriving home. Jenkins stated they both left the house around 4:40a.m. to head to their respective gyms.

“When he wasn’t home at 6:15, I thought it was odd. When he wasn’t home at 6:30, I knew something was wrong. When he wasn’t home by 6:45, I was panicking,” Jenkins said in an interview with WFAA.

“I got in the car at 7, drove the route back and forth trying to find him. Trying to find evidence of a wreck somewhere. I was calling the hospitals trying to find out if there was an unidentified John Doe in any of the hospitals, because I didn’t know if he had his ID with him or not,” he continued.

Alan’s family and friends became even more worried when he missed a work call at 7:30a.m., they all say this is uncharacteristic of him.

They spent the weekend searching for any signs of the loaner Porsche that Alan was driving but found nothing.

Alan’s brother Tim White flew in from West Virginia as soon as he heard the news of his brother missing.

“I think the hardest part was when the flight landed at DFW and as we were sitting on the taxiway, I just kind of lost it,” Tim White said. “Because the stewardess said, ‘Are you here for business or pleasure?’ And I said, I kind of gave her a little overview, and I said ‘I’m really here for business I guess because I’m trying to find my brother.’”

A week later, October 29th, police said they recovered the Porsche at an unnamed location near Stuart Simpson Road and Bonnie View Road. There was no sign of Alan.

Alan’s family have hired a private investigator and police continue to look into White’s disappearance.

In the meantime, Alan’s niece took to the internet to clear up questions and speculation:

Hi I’m Alan’s niece. I stumbled upon this forum and I’m not here to post and discuss the case but I did want to leave a comment to clear some things up. First of all, thank you everyone for being concerned about my uncle and trying to figure out what happened. The more people are trying to help the better because we are as stumped as all of you. We actually don’t know much more than what’s been reported but the police have assured us that they are diligently working on the case. I assume some things they can’t tell us yet for fear of information falling into the wrong hands and having the case go cold.

The reason I am writing this is because I have seen comments suggesting that maybe he left on his own accord. I can understand from your point of view that this could be a possibility but I will admit that this makes me irrationally upset/angry because it is 100% not true and that’s why I feel a need to say something. No one in our family and his circle of friends have even thought that for a second. I just want people to understand why and believe us when we say we’re worried he’s in danger. My family has always been very close. Always have and always will. When my Uncle Greg suddenly passed away almost two years ago it really took a toll on my family. So absolutely no way would my Uncle Alan put my Grams through losing another son.

My uncle is a very kind loving person and he would never leave without telling one of us. Just to show you what kind of an amazing person my uncle is let me tell you a story. A little less than 2 months ago I had an appointment with a bridal dress shop to pick out a wedding dress. I was feeling very down about it because we decided it would be too risky to have my mom and sister fly down because of covid. We still planned to FaceTime during the appointment but I was sad that they couldn’t be there. Because I didn’t want to go alone I asked my fiancé if he would go with me and just wait in the lobby while I tried on dresses. What I didn’t know and everyone else did (even the bridal shop employees) was that a surprise was awaiting me that day.

My fiancé and I pulled up to the shop and as we were waiting in the car for the shop to open (we were the first appointment that day), a familiar face appeared in the passenger side window. My Uncle Alan had come from Dallas (we also live in Texas) to be there for me on that day when my mom and sister couldn’t. I got out of the car and he gave me a big hug and we both started crying. My fiancé snapped a picture of us hugging and now it is one of my most favorite pictures. He helped me pick out a dress and made everyone laugh and smile while playing host for our zoom meeting with my mom, dad, sister, aunts, and grandmas. It was quite a virtual party! He cleared his schedule that morning so that he could be there for me but he also made sure not to miss a work call at 3:30 pm so we made sure we got him back to the airport early enough so he could get through security before being on the call.

So as you can see him missing a call the morning he went missing was a huge red flag. But anyways fast forward a month and my fiancé and I asked Alan if we could stay with him for 2 days while we were in Dallas to get our engagement pictures done and meet with some of our wedding vendors. We also asked him if he would want to go to the venue visit, florist, and the tasting with the caterer to help us with some of our decisions and to help get ideas on how we could decorate the venue. He said that he and my Uncle Rusty would love to go with us and apparently that was all he talked about with my mom and Grams the week before. He was so excited for us to come!

There’s no way he would’ve just left! We got there late Wednesday night and he talked about all the things we would do the next day. Like how he would give us a tour of the house and meet us for dinner after our pictures. The following night we were also going to have some ginger snaps with this cookie butter he had talked so much about. That night before we went to bed he did mention he was going to the gym and had a conference call later. He said he would be back around 6 and asked us if there was a time we wanted up by for our appointments that day so that he could wake us up. So again there was no way he was planning to just up and leave. We came downstairs the next morning and Rusty told us that Alan had not come home. He had already driven by the gym to see if his car was still there and called the hospitals and nothing.

My uncle is a very regimented person. He would not have missed his conference call and he would not have just left especially since we had just gotten there and he had been so excited for us to visit. I’ve seen several comments that people have thought a police report was filed kind of early but to be honest I feel like we waited too long. As the hours passed we knew something was wrong because even if his car broke down somewhere and his phone had died he would’ve been able to contact us somehow. That is how I know for a fact that someone has my uncle. So please throw out all those theories about him leaving on his own or harming himself because there’s just absolutely no way.

I’ve also seen several comments asking why Rusty has not made a statement. That makes me a little upset too. He’s absolutely devastated. For days after Alan disappeared he drove around nonstop looking for him and that first night we stayed up so late crying and trying to get into Alan’s laptop and try to ping the phone from the computer or his iPad. It was all password protected and encrypted and Alan has all the passwords stored on a spreadsheet on the computer. And also who wants to be talking to reporters and reliving the experience over and over again? So don’t read into him not giving a statement. I’m just glad my Grams and Uncle Timmy are there to keep him company.

Family is the most important thing and never take them for granted. You never know when will be the last time you talk to a loved one. So hug your loved ones tight and please keep on the lookout for my uncle. He just has to come home.

On Friday, November 20th, police upgraded White’s case status from “want to locate” to “endangered and missing”, due to recent developments not made public.

In a new interview with Alan’s husband, Rusty Jenkins, he says, “He’s a very kind, generous person. He’d do anything for anyone. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,”

“Your mind goes through all these scenarios of what could’ve happened. But it’s all just kind of guesses until we get some facts or some leads. But your mind plays games all day of what did happen, what could’ve happened,”

“It was hard to watch because it’s a mile from the house. So something happened in that one mile. Something drastically happened in that one mile,” Jenkins said of the surveillance video of White at the gas station.

Family say there was no signs of violence or damage to the Porsche Alan had been driving.

They have also increased the reward for information leading to Alan’s whereabouts to $20,000.

December 4th, it was announced the case is now being worked by the Special Investigations Unit of the Dallas Police Department. 

On December 16th, Det. Eric Barnes told Fox4News he’s hoping the public can help find Alan.

“He pumps gas into his vehicle, he goes in the store, after exiting the store, he gets in his vehicle and he drives off the parking lot. At that point, there’s no one in the vehicle with him,” Det. Barnes explained. “The pressing thing is we want is to get Mr. White home safely to his family.

Police said they found his vehicle about a week later in the 5800 block of Kitty Street.

“This vacant lot is a very secluded area, and it’s known by the people in Highland Hills and it’s known by the Dallas Police Department,” Barnes said.

The area White’s car was found

The vehicle was parked between two sections of bushes, and the keys were inside. Police searched the vehicle but did not find any evidence inside of it.

January 15th, 2021, DPD said they are waiting for test results to come back from SWIFS, Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, in the Alan White case. LGBT police liaison officer Chelsea Geist said they’re also waiting on warrants. She said a separate warrant is required for Apple and then for each application on his cell phone.

“It is a very difficult and time-consuming process unfortunately,” she said.

So what does this all mean? Could Alan be alive but incapacitated? Could his family and police have information on his whereabouts and well-being?

In the podcast episode for Alan, we speak about a body that was found in the Trinity River in March 2021.  At the time of recording, no details were known about the body, but it seems very unlikely now that it belongs to Alan:

Police said the man is either white or Hispanic and between 30 and 40 years old. He is between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed between 173 and 220 pounds.

He has several tattoos, police said. On his back it says “God Forgive Me;” on his right shoulder it says “Brenda;” on his left shoulder it says “Joubert;” and on his right forearm it says “SMC.”

UPDATE – On Thursday May 13, 2021, a survey crew working at Paul Quinn College found human remains in a wooded area, and the Dallas County medical examiner identified the body as James Alan White. “As we had hoped Alan was still alive, the finding of his remains obviously will now help our family with some closure,” his brother Tim White told Dateline on Sunday. “Finding his remains will also help the Dallas PD with the ongoing investigation as to what happened to him.”

Anyone with information regarding White’s death or information related to the case is being asked to contact Detective Eric Barnes #8854 at 214-283-4818 or Please reference case #188623-2020

Jake Cefolia (48)  was the senior vice president of Worldwide Sales for United Airlines. He had taken the day off work on Friday, August 7th, 2020.

He was last seen that morning on surveillance at a gas station at 9:23am filling up his Range Rover.

CCTV footage of a man thought to be Jake
Video of Jake in his corporate role

On August 8th, a deputy from DuPage Sheriff’s Office who was patrolling the area  noted that at 1:30 am and 2:30 pm a Range Rover sat unoccupied on a gravel road near Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. 

At that point, there was no missing person report filed, so there was no reason for alarm.

But, a few hours later, Jake’s ex-wife Kristine Cefolia reported him missing after he didn’t show up for a meeting with their kids and she couldn’t get in touch with him.

Forest preserve officers then connected the car to Jake and immediately started a K-9 search for him in the preserve at 9 p.m. that night. 

He was known to run at the preserve, which could explain why he was there.There were no signs of foul play or suicide. No note inside the car. The only items found were a sweatshirt, golf clubs, a face mask and a first aid kit.

To this day, after various searches of the area, he still hasn’t been found, but it’s been revealed by police that Jake was under some sort of criminal investigation, but no details on the investigation have been released.

Leading up to his disappearance, the last person to see Jake was his son who left his father’s house on the evening of Aug. 6th and said Jake was extremely drunk.

From there, Jake did not answer calls or texts from his family. Kristine (ex-wife) became worried and went to his house to check on him on Aug. 8. His car was not there, but there was a note from Jake’s co-worker, Joe Tibble, on the front door. This is when she contacted the police.

Kristine told police that her ex-husband suffered no mental illness to her knowledge or took any medication. But she said he might have a drinking problem. 

She also told police that Jake “fantasized about going off the grid,” and having no electronics or communications with others.

Joe Tibble (the coworker), told police he was at Jake’s house around 7 p.m. on August 6th – about an hour before Jake’s son left. He said Jake told him he broke up with his girlfriend in San Francisco, saying, “It’s all Wendy’s fault.”

Joe also told the police that he found it unusual that Jake took the next day off, which is the Friday he was last seen on surveillance at the gas station.

Joe checked United’s flight logs, and saw that Jake’s last fight was Aug. 5, a day before he was last seen physically seen, from San Francisco – where Wendy lived.

The police then called Wendy Rodriguez, who reported that she broke up with Jake a few weeks before, but he wanted to get back together. Her birthday was Aug. 4, and Jake stayed the night.

Wendy told police that Jake mentioned something about wanting to go into the mountains to be alone. She said Jake had been stressed over work and was drinking more than usual, but didn’t make any overly concerning statements.

Jake’s sister, Genny Horan, told police her brother came over with his children Aug. 2. She said he seemed to be in good spirits. Genny made police aware of another of Jake’s girlfriends named Dina. 

Dina said she last communicated with Jake around 2:30 p.m. Aug. 6 by text, after which he did not respond to her messages. Dina said Jake was supposed to come over for dinner on Aug. 8, but didn’t show.

Police continued their searches through the summer, but found no sign of Jake.

In November 2020, police returned to the area hoping the fallen leaves and lack of foliage would help in their search – giving them better visibility.

This time, smaller teams of officers searched deep into the woods, off the trails, looking for any signs of Jake.

Dupage County Forest Preserve Chief, David Pederson told NBC Chicago – “Now that the leaf foliage is down, it gives us a different perspective. So, we are taking another look. We’re doing so because there hasn’t been any other lead, or any other information regarding Jacob Cefolia.”

He also said, “I thoroughly believe it would be nothing but a recovery effort if he’s here in the forest preserve.”

Chief Pederson described initial search efforts for Jake at the 2,000-acre forest preserve as massive, saying, “this has been one of our most extensive searches with a lot of resources, volunteers to law enforcement staff and drones to aircraft thermal imaging. We really put in a lot, including some water searches in the nearby Des Plaines River.”

Now, search efforts are smaller and deeper into the woods. 

“This is a place where people can feel secluded and go back to nature and maybe feel some peace, “ said Chief Pederson.

In March 2021, the sale of his house was finalized. It was listed for sale in June, 2020. You can see the Zillow listing for the property here.

Jake’s home

Despite Jake being a missing person, the house was able to go under contract and make it to a closing because in May 2018, Jake gave power of attorney for property to his relative, Rudy Piedra. A document authorizing Piedra with those powers was recorded with DuPage County at the same time as the Nov. 5 sale.

Jake paid $560,000 for the house in 2016. In June 2020 — two months before he went missing — Jake listed the house for $589,900. He then reduced his asking price to $574,900 in July and then to $549,900 on Aug. 3. The house went under contract Aug. 5, and several days later, he disappeared.

In a totally different side story – of course, there is Facebook drama.

According to Elmhust Patch, “The main Facebook page in the search for missing Elmhurst resident Jake Cefolia has turned into a place for arguments. Many are questioning the intentions of its creator, who claims to be working for his boss, “Zuck.” He admits he has never met Cefolia. Meanwhile, a rival Facebook group formed this week, with members contending the other page censored their views.”

The group was created by a man named John Wynne who has no connection to Jake.

John posted a video of himself where he announced himself as the administrator of the group and said he had been in talks with his boss, “Zuck.” He also referred to the Elmhurst Police Department’s statement that Cefolia has been under criminal investigation since before he disappeared.

He said – “We both think Jake is alive right now and well, and we’re going to do what we can for assisting Jake for clearing his name, and then we’ll see if we can get him to come back… Jake’s a great guy. He needs to be fully cleared. Like I say, I have been in talks with my boss Zuck, so I really think this entire thing is going to have a good ending.”

Elmhurst Patch contacted John Wynne through Facebook messenger and asked whether he knew Jake, he sent back a voice message saying, “My relationship is with Zuck. I work with Zuck. He has me doing many things. I have lots of things. I have 25 groups that I’m the admin for.”

When asked for Zuck’s full name, John said it was Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder.

He did not provide proof that he worked for Zuckerberg when asked, only saying, “Ask Zuck.”

People began to realize John Wynne seems a bit unhinged and a new group for Jake was created by an acquaintance of Jake’s named Alicia Stasica Bailey.

she said she belongs to a number of true crime groups on Facebook. She said Wynne’s page had problems, so “I felt like it was my calling to step up to the plate.”

Bailey said she recently left United Airlines after 15 years, but only met Cefolia once. So she said she had no personal interest other than the general intrigue. 

There are rumors that Jake’s disappearance might be connected to a scandal at GBTA – Global Business Travel Association. Jake joined the organization in 2019:

You can read more about the alleged misconduct by the GBTA here:

GBTA CEO Solombrino Under Fire After Anonymous Whistleblower Alleges Misconduct

Could this be what the criminal investigation involving Jake was about?

The search for Jake continues, but the question remains as to whether the answer to this mystery is somewhere in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve or somewhere else.

This video gives you an idea of the area where Jake is thought to have gone missing:

On Friday October 22, 2021, a contractor at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve notified police that potential human remains had been discovered in the area. The contractors were removing invasive species in the area when they came across “human remains hanging from a low hanging tree,” said Chief David Pederson with the Forest Preserve District Police.

“The human remains were located in a very thick covered brush area, extremely, so you can be 10 feet away and not see it,” Pederson told NBC 5. “Obviously the foliage is starting to drop this time of year, these contractors were working in a very thick area…”

The police chief said the remains are starting to decompose “to the point that you can’t tell who the individual is,” adding it’s uncertain when the body will be identified.

Remains Discovered at Lemont Forest Preserve Where Missing United Executive’s SUV Found in 2020

On October 24, the remains were confirmed as belonging to Jake:

You can read more about Jake’s case:

Despite his disappearance, missing United Airlines exec Jake Cefolia sells Elmhurst home for $523,000

Elmhurst Missing Person: Bitter Divisions On Facebook

Elmhurst Missing Man ‘Fantasized About Going Off Grid’: Police

See Video Of Elmhurst Missing Man’s Car At Gas Station

Join us on to stay up to date with this case.

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