According to reports, authorities have confirmed that the body found in the Illinois River on September 4th belongs to Jelani Day.
The LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch stated, “forensic dental identification and DNA testing” confirm the identity of Jelani Day.
The cause of death is under investigation and the “investigation is ongoing.”
Day’s body was initially found a little over a week after he first went missing.
As previously reported, Jelani has been missing since August 24th. He was last seen on surveillance video entering a store in Bloomington called Beyond/Hello.
According to People, his family reported him missing the following day after several failed attempts to reach him.
In addition, police reports state Jelani didn’t show up to class for several days, which also prompted concern with faculty members at the university.
On Aug. 26th, officers from the Peru Police Department responded to a report about an abandoned vehicle in a wooded area south of the Illinois Valley YMCA.
The medical student’s mother, Carmen, recently did an interview and felt the authorities were not doing all they could to help find her son. “Jelani hadn’t been getting the coverage. Jelani has been missing for 24 days, and as I said, it seems like the effort to find him has slacked down,” she said. “I know about Gabby, the missing girl, and she’s been missing for two days, and her face is plastered everywhere, and the FBI is involved, and I do not understand why Jelani doesn’t get that same coverage.”
Jelani’s family released a statement that read in part, “There are no words to clearly communicate our devastation. We learned this morning from the LaSalle County Coroner the deceased man found in Peru, IL on Saturday, September 4 is Jelani. Our hearts are broken.
We ask that you continue to pray for our family during what will be very hard days ahead. Throughout these 30 days, our very first concern was finding Jelani, and now we need to find out #WhatHappenedToJelaniDay.
At this moment there are more questions than answers surrounding Jelani’s disappearance and death, and that is where we will focus our energy. As of this moment, we do not know what happened to Jelani and we will not stop until we do.
This week we learned new evidence has been discovered and police are working new leads related to Jelani’s disappearance. This case is not closed and the investigation is not over.”
Please keep his family in your prayers.