Body in river identified as 25-year-old Illinois State University student Jelani Day, police say


The LaSalle County coroner identified a male body found earlier this month as that of Jelani “JJ” Day, 25, of Bloomington, Ill.. Day, an Illinois State University graduate student, was first reported missing on August 25. The cause of death was not immediately known. Day’s body was discovered in a river near his abandoned car weeks earlier, but his condition had deteriorated so badly in the water that it took until Wednesday to get a positive identification. Officials said the identification was made through forensic dental identification and DNA testing.

Day’s mother, Carmen Bolden Day, said during research that it wasn’t like her son suddenly disappeared. She told reporters she believed “there was someone involved” in her disappearance. Other family members have called on the FBI to get involved, criticizing the lack of attention and resources given to the investigation, in relation to the recent Gabby Petito case. Day was last seen in surveillance footage filmed on August 24, while on his way to a dispensary in Bloomington. It was two days later that his car was discovered, a hundred miles away, with the clothes he was wearing in the footage stored inside. Police said he went missing under “unexplained suspicious circumstances”.

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