DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Construction workers laying sewer pipe found the skeletal remains of a former death row inmate with mob ties at a suburban Chicago site about 50 yards from where the bodies of two other men connected to organized crime were found in 1988.
The DuPage County coroner's office identified the latest body, found wrapped in a blue tarp, as Robert Charles Cruz.
FBI spokesman Tom Simon said the body was identified through fingerprints and tattoos.
Cruz was 50 when he disappeared from his Kildeer home on Dec. 4, 1997. His cousin, reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman, had just been sentence to 100 to 300 years in prison for the 1972 murder of a Teamsters official. Cruz had been in the courtroom each day of Aleman's 1997 trial.
Cruz had also spent 14 years on death row in Arizona for allegedly hiring three men to kill a Phoenix businessman and his mother-in-law. That conviction was overturned in 1980 and a new trial was ordered. Cruz was tried four more times and acquitted in 1995.
The construction workers found Cruz's remains more than eight feet underground while laying sewer pipes for a new townhouse development.
Federal and county authorities are investigating Cruz's death as a homicide.
The other two bodies found in the area were located after an informant told the FBI there was a mob burial ground in DuPage County near the home of a former mob syndicate member. FBI agents found the remains of Robert Anthony Hatridge and Mark Oliver, both described as associates of organized crime figures.