ATLANTA (AP) _ A cassette tape found in a safety deposit box led police to the body of a Cuban immigrant killed more than two years ago but who was never reported missing, authorities say.

Rolando Valdes, 25, of Miami, was killed in retribution for a drug ripoff, said Fulton County District Attorney Lewis Slaton.

His body was discovered Oct. 25 in a shallow grave in Forsyth County northeast of Atlanta, said Slaton.

The recording was discovered in September when officials at an Atlanta bank drilled into a safety deposit box rented jointly by two men because no payments had been made for it for several months.

Bank officers gave the recording to the Fulton County district attorney's office after listening to it, Slaton said. On the 10-minute recording, a voice says that Valdes was killed 21/2 years ago because of a drug ripoff involving 11 ounces of cocaine.

''Valdes was not supposed to have the 11 ounces of cocaine and he was killed for it,'' Slaton said.

One of the two men whose voice is heard on the recording has been identified, said Slaton, whose office is investigating the killing along with Dekalb County authorities. Investigators believe Valdes was killed in Dekalb County, just outside Atlanta.

''There are going to be four or five people involved to a certain extent,'' Slaton said. ''To what extent, I don't know.''

Because of comments on the tape, investigators were led to an informant who revealed where Valdes was buried, he said.