More than a year after Jake Cefolia went missing and workers discovered his body hanging from a tree in October in the Waterfall Glen Preserve in west suburban Lemont, a potential clue to Cefolia's sudden disappearance may lie in recently released police reports.
NBC 5 Investigates obtained Elmhurst police reports that show Cefolia was under investigation for downloading child pornography. The search warrant was executed at Cefolia’s house on Oct. 6, a day before Cefolia vanished.
Police reports say that Cefolia had downloaded images and videos of female children aged 3 to 11, engaged in "various acts of sexual conduct."
The release of the report was in response to an NBC 5 Investigates Freedom of Information Act request for all documents in the Cefolia investigation.
Cefolia’s name is redacted in the report, but his home address, where the search warrant was conducted, is noted. Cefolia was never criminally charged with any crime.
The items taken from Cefolia's house included a computer laptop, flash drives, an Apple iPad, a PC computer and two iPhones, according to the police inventory noted in the report. The items were taken to the Elmhurst Police Department for evidence submission and the Apple devices were submitted to the DuPage County Digital Forensic Laboratory in Wheaton.
Police reports also indicate that the child pornography investigation began in July of 2020 when police captured Cefolia’s IP address on a file sharing network offering child pornography files for download. When questioned by officers the day of the search warrant, the report notes he "denied downloading any child pornography."
Cefolia’s disappearance set in motion a massive search that attracted national attention. Many speculated Cefolia left, but in October, more than a year after his disappearance, workers at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserves found skeletal remains suspended from two belts attached to a tree.
Police reports say a "mostly empty bottle of rum and a backpack were nearby." Inside the backpack was a notebook with a note addressed to his two teenagers saying "he was sorry and embarrassed to take the easy way out."