(ROSEVILLE, Mich.) — “Where is Jimmy Hoffa’s body?” is a question that has spawned thousands of theories. Now, one Michigan police chief believes a break in the famous cold case could be close at hand.
James Berlin, the police chief in Roseville, Mich., a town about 20 miles north of Detroit, says his department will take soil core samples from under the driveway of a home in the area this Friday after “credible” information recently surfaced.
“We received information from an individual who saw something,” Berlin told the Detroit Free Press. “The information seemed credible, so we decided to follow up on it.”
“We do not know if this is Jimmy,” he said.
Hoffa, the union boss who headed the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters, disappeared in July 1975. He was last seen outside “The Red Fox” restaurant in suburban Detroit. Hoffa was 62 at the time and had recently spent nearly five years behind bars.
Berlin told the Free Press that Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, in a ground scan of the Roseville driveway last week, discovered “an anomaly” that set the stage for this Friday’s return visit to the site, a development confirmed to ABC News by the department’s spokesman, Brad Wurfel.
“Our staff weren’t told what or who they were looking for. What they knew was they were down there to do a scan,” Wurfel said. “What they came up with was some anomalies relatively close to the service.”
“The ground scan,” Wurfel said, “is like a sonar unit you’d use on your boat to go fishing. It sends down a signal and reports back up based on interruptions. It shows you the earth’s natural layers as horizontal lines and it’ll show you the break in those lines where something is buried. So we were called to help out last Friday and all they really told us was they needed the ground slab over a concrete slab, looking for things below.”
“We’ll be back Friday to help them again,” he said.
Berlin did not respond to messages left by ABC News, but a representative from his department said Berlin would be addressing the media “at a later date.”
In 2009 FBI agents dug up a Detroit lumberyard, prompting speculation that the excavation was a search for Hoffa. Three years earlier, in May 2006, an unsuccessful search for Hoffa at a farm in the town of Milford became known as “The Big Dig.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Pamela Brown, CNN
Matt Egan, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN