updated 2/14/2005 5:25:08 PM ET 2005-02-14T22:25:08

Blood found on the floor of a Detroit home is not that of Jimmy Hoffa, investigators said Monday, ruling out what had looked like one of the most promising recent leads in the disappearance of the Teamsters leader almost 30 years ago.

Authorities had ripped up floorboards last May at a house where Delaware Teamsters official Frank Sheeran said he shot Hoffa to death.

Police in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Township received a report from the FBI’s crime lab Monday concluding the blood on the floorboards was not Hoffa’s.

Police Chief Jeffrey Werner said investigators and Oakland County prosecutors were skeptical of the lead from the beginning but were obligated to pursue it after Fox News Channel claimed that its own investigation had turned up blood on the floor.

Hoffa was last seen on July 30, 1975, at a restaurant in Bloomfield Township. Sheeran died in 2003, and his claim was detailed in a book titled “I Heard You Paint Houses,” published months later by biographer Charles Brandt.

Brandt said Sheeran’s version of events is corroborated in other ways. He said forensic experts hired by Fox News found “a pattern of blood, indications of blood, exactly matching what Frank Sheeran said he had done to Jimmy Hoffa.”

He said the blood tested by the FBI must have been from another incident.

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