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Jimmy Hoffa buried in shallow grave, alleged mob underboss Anthony Zarelli claims in interview

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 20: James R. Hoffa, then Vice-President of the Teamsters Union, testifies 20 August 1957 in Washington DC before the Senate Rackets Committee. His son, Jimmy Hoffa Jr. was elected 06 December President of the 1. 4 million-strong International Brotherhood of Teamsters labor confederation. His father, the legendary James R. Hoffa headed the Teamsters, one of the two powerful US labor confederations, from 1957 to 1967. He was sent to prison for jury tampering and fraud in the late 1960s and disappeared without a trace in 1975, presumably killed by former Mafia associates. (Photo credit should read AL MUTO/AFP/Getty Images) AL MUTO

Aug. 20, 1957 photo of James "Jimmy" Hoffa, then Vice-President of the Teamsters Union, testifying in Washington, D.C. before the Senate Rackets Committee
AL MUTO/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS) Alleged Detroit mob underboss Anthony Zerilli said in a televised interview that he knows where notorious missing person Jimmy Hoffa is buried in what could potentially be the biggest break in the disappearance case, CBS Detroit reports.

In an interview with NBC affiliate WDIV that aired Sunday evening, the 85-year-old Zerilli said Hoffa's killers buried him in a shallow grave 37 years ago. They were planning to move his body to a hunting lodge in northern Michigan, but they decided to leave him where he was initially buried.

"I think this is the most credible person to ever come forward to talk about this story," said local mob boss and expert Scott Burnstein, author of "Detroit Mob Confidential" and "Motor City Mafia."

Zerilli, the son of Detroit mafia founder Joe Zerilli, served as the Detroit mob underboss from 1979 to 2002, according to CBS Detroit.

Burnstein said Anthony Zerilli is probably telling the story now because "he's upset with the leaders of the family for taking him out of the loop a couple of years ago."

"If there is a body to be found, he's the guy to lead you to it," Burnstein said. "This is someone who definitely could have intimate knowledge of what happened."

Although Zerilli hasn't publicly revealed the location of the shallow grave, Burnstein said it's in northern Oakland County, about 20 miles away from Hoffa's last sighting, according to CBS Detroit.

"I think this has got to be the biggest potential break in the case in a long time," Burnstein said. "It's really shocking to me that he would do this."

Teamsters union boss Hoffa was last seen July 30, 1975 outside a restaurant in Oakland County, Mich., CBS Detroit reports. The government reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the decades-long hunt for Hoffa's body, including digs at a football stadium, at a Milford farm and underneath a Michigan driveway.

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  • Crimesider Staff

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