The DuPage County, IL, coroner's office has identified decomposed remains that turned up in Downers Grove Township as those of Robert Charles Cruz, missing since Dec. 4, 1997, according to a report by ABC7 in Chicago.
The body was identified by fingerprints and tattoos, officials said.
The FBI is checking into possible connections between Cruz and organized crime. Officials note that the bodies of two mob-hit victims were discovered in 1988 about 50 yards from where Cruz's remains turned up on March 20. The former home of reputed mobster Joseph Jerome Scalise is also reportedly nearby.
Cruz was born Aug. 11, 1947. He was about 50 years old when he was reported missing. Authorities would not reveal his hometown. The coroner continues to look into the cause of death.
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- Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.