Bad a lot. The body of Jelani Day, an ISU “graduate student, was found in the Illinois River”

This month, the tragic discovery of a body in the Illinois River near Peru, far southwest of Chicago, brought sorrow as it was identified as that of Jelani Day, a graduate student at Illinois State University.

On September 4, in LaSalle County, a body was found floating near the south bank of the Illinois River, approximately 14 miles east of the Illinois Rt. 251 Bridge. The 25-year-old Day had gone missing in late August, and his body was eventually located and identified.

At the time of the initial report, the cause of death remained unknown and awaited further tests and lab results for clarification.

“Our hearts are broken,” expressed Day’s family in a letter, urging prayers during this difficult time.

Today marks #WhatHappenedToJelaniDay, and after 30 days of relentless efforts, the quest to unveil the circumstances surrounding Jelani’s death persists.

Key questions about Jelani’s demise and disappearance remain unanswered, and the pursuit for the truth will not cease until Jelani’s fate is fully known.

Weeks after his disappearance, Day’s body was found near his car. Authorities caution that identifying the remains could take weeks or months due to the circumstances of their discovery.

In a recent interview with NBC Chicago, Day’s mother shared, “We provided them with DNA for identification purposes, but I was informed that the crime lab lacks the necessary tools to process the DNA.”

The LaSalle County coroner’s office confirmed the body belonged to a man. While noting the death investigation was separate from the kidnapping inquiry, they did not elaborate on the distinction.

Day disappeared on August 24, and two days later, his car was found in the woods near his body, miles away from where he was last seen. His family and a teacher reported his absence to the police on August 25, stating he hadn’t attended school for days.

Surveillance footage revealed Day visited a pharmacy in Bloomington the day before his disappearance. Two days later, police in Peru, Illinois, discovered his car in the woods, 60 miles away, with his clothes inside.

Day’s mother, in an interview, expressed concern about her son’s disappearance, stating, “I need him to come home so he can keep going on his way to becoming Dr. Jelani Day.”

Police characterized Day’s disappearance as “suspicious and unexplained,” and his mother dismisses the possibility that he ran away, suspecting foul play.

Contrary to the attention garnered by cases like Gabby Petito’s, the Day family is dissatisfied with the investigation into their son’s absence, feeling that the young Black man has not received comparable attention.

As the search for answers recommences almost a month later, the public is urged to assist in unraveling the mystery surrounding Jelani Day’s tragic fate.