OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The latest possible resting place of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is an overgrown farm field where the normal calm of chirping crickets is being drowned out by a beeping backhoe, the chop of an overhead news helicopter and the bustle of reporters and onlookers.

Over nearly four decades, authorities have pursued multiple leads into Hoffa's death that yielded nothing. Yet the mystery endures, fueled by a public fascination with mobsters and murder.

"It's one of those things you've always heard about," said Niki Grifka, who, at 37, was just an infant when Hoffa vanished.

Over the past day and a half, Grifka and a few dozen other Oakland Township residents gathered a couple of hundred yards from where FBI agents wearing hard hats and carrying shovels sifted through about a half-acre of red dirt for the remains of a man who became as large in death as he was leading one of America's most powerful labor unions.

Hoffa's rise in the Teamsters, his 1964 conviction for jury tampering and his presumed murder are Detroit's link to a time when organized crime, public corruption and mob hits held the nation's attention.

Hoffa was last seen July 30, 1975, outside an Oakland County restaurant where he was supposed to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain. His body has never been found.

But over the years, authorities have received various tips, leading the FBI to possible burial sites near and far.

In 2003, a backyard swimming pool was dug up 90 miles northwest of Detroit. Seven years ago, a tip from an ailing federal inmate led to a two-week search and excavation at a horse farm in the same region. Last year, soil samples were taken from under a concrete slab garage floor north of the city. And detectives even pulled up floorboards from a Detroit house.

No evidence of Hoffa was found.

Other theories have suggested he was entombed in concrete at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, ground up and thrown in a Florida swamp or obliterated in a mob-owned fat-rendering plant.

Detroit's long tradition of organized labor and auto manufacturing means the Hoffa saga still resonates with countless Michigan families.

"Everyone has a connection with Hoffa and the unions," said 47-year-old George Newton, of Oakland County's Rochester. "I was in high school when he got abducted, and my grandfather was in the union."

To Newton, it would be exciting if Hoffa's remains are finally found, but he doubts that ever will happen.

"I just think it's a tightly held secret," Newton said. "I do want closure, first for Hoffa's family and, I think, in a way for Michigan."

The latest tip about Hoffa's remains came from reputed Mafia captain Tony Zerilli, who, through his lawyer, said Hoffa was buried beneath a concrete slab in a barn in the Oakland Township field.

The barn is gone, but FBI agents pored over the field Tuesday for a second day. Forensic anthropologists from Michigan State University were bought in to help, along with state police dogs, which were led through the high grass in hopes that their sensitive noses might sniff out a clue.

Authorities suspended the search late Tuesday afternoon, but expected to resume their efforts Wednesday.

Zerilli, now 85, was in prison for organized crime when Hoffa disappeared. But he told New York TV station WNBC in January that he was informed about Hoffa's whereabouts after his release. His attorney, David Chasnick, said Zerilli is "intimately involved" with people who know where the body is buried.

Details are in a manuscript Zerilli is selling online, $7.99 for a mailed copy and $4.99 for an electronic version.

Zerilli's mob connections give his story more credibility than tips that spawned past searches, according to Keith Corbett, a former federal prosecutor.

"You have a witness who is in a position to know, who says he has specific information," Corbett said Monday.

"Anytime you look for somebody and don't find the body, it is embarrassing. The thing the public isn't aware of but police know is there are a lot of dead ends in an investigation."

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  • 2013: The Search Is On.. Again

    On June 17, 2013, investigators began searching an empty field in Oakland Township, Mich., for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. Pictures from the latest search for Hoffa follow, but in the last 38 years since his disappearance, rumors and tips have led to multiple investigations and dig sites with no success. Continue reading to see scenes from the long and frustrating Jimmy Hoffa case. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • 2013

    Law enforcement officials from the Michigan State Police help search the area in Oakland Township, Mich., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 where officials continue the search for the remains of Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • 2013

    A law enforcement official from the FBI measures an area in Oakland Township, Mich., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 where officials continue the search for the remains of Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975. The search follows claims made in February by reputed Mafia captain Tony Zerilli, who told Detroit TV station WDIV that he knew where Hoffa was buried. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • 2013

    Law enforcement officials from the Michigan State Police help search the area in Oakland Township, Mich., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 where officials continue the search for the remains of Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • 2013

    Members of an FBI evidence response team look over an area being cleared in Oakland Township, Mich., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 where officials continue the search for the remains of Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa, who disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI Special Agent Robert D. Foley III (C) speaks to the media while a digging machine (background) arrives at a field outside Detroit where the possible remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa may be located June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI agents search a field outside Detroit for the alleged remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI agents and police officials walk to the microphones to give the news media an update on their search of a field for the possible remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: News trucks gather at the location where FBI agents are searching a field for the remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI agents direct a vehicle carrying digging machinery to a field to dig for the possible remains of former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: Crime scene tape marks the area beyond which news media may not go where FBI agents search a field (background) outside Detroit for the alleged remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: An FBI agent blocks access to a road next to a field where agents are searching for the possible remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: An FBI agent gathers up crime scene tape while moving the news media further away from a field outside Detroit where agents are searching for the alleged remains of former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI agents search a field outside Detroit for the alleged remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: Police block off a road where FBI agents are searching a field for the alleged remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI agents direct a vehicle carrying digging machinery to a field to dig for the possible remains of former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: FBI agents search a field outside Detroit for the alleged remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, MI - JUNE 17: News media gather at the site where FBI agents are searching a field for the possible remains of former Teamsters' union president Jimmy Hoffa June 17, 2013 in Oakland Township, Michigan. The agents were acting on a tip provided by Tony Zerilli, 85, a former mobster, who was released from prison in 2008. Hoffa, who had reported ties to organized crime, went missing in July of 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2013

    Law enforcement officials block the street to the scene in Oakland Township, Mich., Monday, June 17, 2013 where officials search for the remains of Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • The Tip That Prompted The Search

    This still frame made from video provided by WNBC shows Tony Zerilli, alleged to be the underboss of Detroit's biggest crime family, during an interview with NBC, as he shows a reporter the Oakland Township field where he believes Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is buried. 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. (AP Photo/WNBC)

  • Why He Told

    "I’d like to just prove to everybody that I’m not crazy," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/14/jimmy-hoffa-tony-zerilli-mafia_n_2471076.html" target="_blank">Tony Zerilli told NBC in the January interview</a>. "And it means a lot to me. What happened, happened while I was in jail. And I feel very, very bad about it and it should never have happened to Jim Hoffa. He didn’t deserve what happened to him." (AP Photo/WNBC)

  • 2012: Buried Under Roseville Driveway?

    People photograph the driveway in Roseville, Mich., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/jimmy-hoffa-roseville-tip-police_n_1919943.html">where police plan to take soil samples Friday</a> after a tipster said it could be the final resting place of missing Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. Roseville Police Chief James Berlin says a man claims to have seen a body buried there approximately 35 years ago. Berlin says the man believes it could be Hoffa. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

  • 2012

    FILE- In a Sept. 28, 2012 file photo authorities drill for soil samples in the floor of a shed at a Roseville, Mich., home Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Police have been told by a source that former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa may be buried beneath a driveway. Like many others that came before it, the latest search for Hoffa has come up empty. Tests on soil samples gathered last week from a backyard in suburban Detroit showed no traces that Hoffa — or anyone else — was buried there, Roseville police announced Tuesday, Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, FILE)

  • 2012

    Media and spectators watch as authorities drill for soil samples in the floor at a Roseville, Mich., home Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Police have been told by a source that former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa may be buried beneath a driveway. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • 2012

    Roseville Police Department detectives carry soil samples removed from a shed floor of a Roseville, Mich., home Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Police have been told by a source that former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa may be buried beneath a driveway. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • 2012

    FILE- In a Sept. 28, 2012 file photo, police tape blocks a driveway where authorities drilled for soil samples in the floor of a shed at a Roseville, Mich., Police have been told by a source that former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa may be buried beneath the driveway. Like many others that came before it, the latest search for former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa has come up empty. Tests on soil samples gathered last week from a backyard in suburban Detroit showed no traces that Hoffa — or anyone else — was buried there, Roseville police announced Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, FILE)

  • 2012

    ROSEVILLE, MI - SEPTEMBER 28: Police officials prepare to drill through a concrete driveway to obtain a soil sample that will be tested for signs of human decomposition at a site where a tipster reported that the body of former Teamster's union boss Jimmy Hoffa may be buried September 28, 2012 in Roseville, Michigan. Ground-penetrating radar indicated there is an anomaly under the concrete. The former Teamster's president disappeared from a restaurant parking lot in Bloomfield Township, Michigan in 1975. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

  • 2011: Buried Under The Renaissance Center?

    <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/12/former_chauffeur_jimmy_hoffa_b.html">One recent rumor</a> puts Hoffa under the General Motors Company World Headquarters and Renaissance Center complex, seen August 17, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

  • 2010: Under Giants Stadium?

    FILE - This Feb. 4, 2010, file photo, workers watch as a machine begins the demolition of Giants Stadium, in East Rutherford, N.J. Self-described hit man Donald "Tony the Greek" Frankos claims ex-Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was buried under Giants Stadium, but the FBI found no evidence to support the claim.(AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

  • 2011

    This March 22, 2009 file aerial photo shows Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Self-described hit man Donald "Tony the Greek" Frankos claims ex-Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was buried under Giants Stadium, but the FBI found no evidence to support the claim. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

  • 2009: Cremated At Detroit Cemetary?

    Police officer and crime novelist Jeffrey Hansen has his own theory -- Hoffa was killed at a home in northwest Detroit, then <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/09/local_cop_says_jimmy_hoffa_was.html">driven to a local cemetery and cremated</a>.

  • 2006: Under A Horse Farm?

    FILE - In this May 24, 2006, file photo, workers, including Federal Bureau of Investigation evidence response team members, probe the ground near a demolished barn at a horse farm in Milford Township, Mich., where FBI agents investigating Jimmy Hoffa's 1975 disappearance were working for an eighth day. Hoffa’s mysterious disappearance, assumed death and myriad searches for his body have been the stuff of urban legends for more than three decades. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

  • 2006

    FILE - In this May 25, 2006, file photo, excavation crews dig up the site of a horse barn that was demolished as part of the FBI's search for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa in Milford Township, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

  • 2006

    FILE - In this May 19, 2006, file photo, searchers in formation inspect a field at Hidden Dreams Farm in Milford Township, Mich., where federal agents are digging for the body of former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa’s mysterious disappearance, assumed death and myriad searches for his body have been the stuff of urban legends for more than three decades. (AP Photo/John M. Galloway, File)

  • 2006

    FILE - In this May 25, 2006, file photo, excavation crews dig up the site of a horse barn that was demolished as part of the FBI's search for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa in Milford Township, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

  • 2004: Murdered At Detroit House?

    Before his death, Jimmy Hoffa's friend Frank Sheeran said he accompanied Hoffa to a house in northwest Detroit for a mob meet. In his book about Sheeran, Charles Brandt says the man <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120927/NEWS05/309270107/jimmy-hoffa-search">shooting Hoffa in the head</a>.

  • 2003: Under A Pool?

    FILE - In this July 16, 2003, file photo, authorities search under a backyard pool in Hampton Township, Mich., for evidence linked to the disappearance of ex-teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

  • 1975: An Early Search

    In this Dec. 5, 1975, file photo, a man walks over a rubble field in Jersey City, N.J., one of the locations where authorities searched for the body of missing former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. (AP Photo, File)

  • 2003

    FILE - In this July 16, 2003, file photo, Oakland County sheriff investigators search near a backyard pool in Hampton Township, Mich., for evidence linked to the disappearance of ex-teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

  • 1975: The Case Begins

    In this Aug. 1, 1975 file photo Bloomfield Township Police Chief Robert Snell fields questions from reporters about the mysterious disappearance of former Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa was reported missing on July 31, 1975, after meeting with reputed Detroit mob enforcer Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone and alleged New Jersey mob figure Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano at a restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Mich. (AP File Photo)

  • 1975: Wife Josephine Wants Answers

    In this Aug. 14, 1975, file photo Josephine Hoffa, right, wife of ex-Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa, and her daughter Barbara Crancer walk behind the family home in Lake Orion, Mich. Crancer, seeking information on her father, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI in 1989 demanding the agency's reports on her father's disappearance. (AP Photo, File)

  • Other Rumors

    Plenty of others <a href="http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/jimmy_hoffa/5.html">claim to know the answer to Hoffa's disappearance</a>, whether he was dumped in a Florida swamp, crushed in a Hamtramck car compactor, dumped in the Au Sable River, or destroyed in a fat-rendering plant or many other rumored "possibilities."

  • Hoffa's Friend Chuckie

    FILE - In this May 26, 2006, file photo, long-time Jimmy Hoffa friend, Charles "Chuckie" O'Brien, holds a photo of Hoffa and his wife Josephine, in Boca Raton, Fla.. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter, File)

  • News 4 New York: "Where is Hoffa" promo. Sunday Dec. 13th at 11pm on NBC 4 New York

    In an I-Team Exclusive, News 4 New York's Marc Santia sits down with an alleged mob underboss who says he knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried...and why the FBI may think he is right. This story airs on Sunday, January 13th at 11pm on NBC 4 New York.

  • Jimmy Hoffa Remains: Police to Dig Under Michigan Driveway

    It’s been almost 40 years since ex-Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Now, a tip has police moving to dig under a Michigan driveway.