updated 4/4/2007 6:12:49 PM ET 2007-04-04T22:12:49

The Justice Department paid $225,000 to hire excavators and replace a barn last summer in the unsuccessful search for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains, records show.

The FBI was criticized for its costly two-week dig last May at the Hidden Dreams Farm, 30 miles northwest of Detroit. It yielded nothing more than a water line, a beer can and other trash.

Records released to The Detroit News under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act show the agency paid $160,000 to the owners of the horse farm and $65,000 to excavators, anthropologists and other contractors involved in the project.

The price tag does not include salary or travel costs for the 40 to 50 agents the FBI has said were involved in the dig.

Investigators long have suspected Hoffa was killed by the mob to prevent him from reclaiming the Teamsters presidency after he got out of prison for corruption.

He was last seen on July 30, 1975. He was scheduled to have dinner at a restaurant about 20 miles from the Milford Township farm. He was supposed to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain, both of whom are now dead.

Many theories, few leads
Theories about Hoffa’s death abound. Among the more enduring legends are that he was buried at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, or was ground up and dumped in a Florida swamp.

In 2003, authorities excavated beneath a backyard pool a few hours north of Detroit. The following year, police ripped up floorboards in a Detroit home to test bloodstains. The blood was not Hoffa’s.

FBI Director Robert Mueller has said his agency will eventually solve the case.

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