DETROIT -- A man convicted of crimes as a reputed Mafia captain is claiming missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was buried in suburban Detroit.
Tony Zerilli was in prison when Hoffa disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975, but tells New York TV station WNBC he was informed about Hoffa's whereabouts after his release. The ailing 85-year-old took a reporter to a field near Rochester, north of Detroit, but no exact location was disclosed. The report was also aired on Detroit's WDIV.
"The master plan was ... they were going to put him in a shallow grave here," Zerilli said (http://bit.ly/W1KgZp ). "Then, they were going to take him from here to Rogers City upstate. There was a hunting lodge and they were going to bury him in a shallow grave, then take him up there for final burial. Then, I understand, that it just fell through."
Zerilli did not say during the aired interview why he chose to make his claims now. WNBC reported he is promoting an upcoming book titled Hoffa Found, the website for which promises to reveal details about Hoffa's death.
No listed phone number for Zerilli could be found Monday by Associated Press.
The FBI declined to comment when asked if Zerilli's claims were credible. Former Detroit FBI head Andrew Arena said the remarks deserve serious consideration.
"Anthony Zerilli was reputed to be the underboss of the Detroit organized crime family, so he would have been in the know," Arena said.
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