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Remains found at late mobster's NY home believed to be human

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investigators have found what they believe are human remains in a search of the former home of late New York mobster Jimmy Burke, suspected mastermind of the 1978 Lufthansa cargo heist, New York City Medical Examiner spokeswoman Ellen Borakove told Reuters on Thursday.

She said the medical examiner's Office is checking material FBI agents scouring the Queens home found a day earlier, and it appears they are human remains.

"I think they are," Borakove said, declining to comment further.

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin said once the remains are determined to be human, the next step is to identify the dead person.

Burke, also known as "Jimmy the Gent," died in prison in 1996 while serving time for the murder of a drug dealer. The home belongs to his daughter.

Robert De Niro played a character inspired by Burke in Martin Scorsese's 1990 hit movie "Goodfellas".

The search inside Burke's one-time house was unrelated to an FBI dig in suburban Detroit this week where agents searched for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. The search for Hoffa was called off on Wednesday, and no remains were found.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Ellen Wulfhorst)

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