Body of Alabama A&M grad Jelani Day found in Illinois River

Alabama News

LASALLE COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — A body found in the Illinois River earlier this month has been identified as missing Alabama A&M graduate Jelani Day.

LaSalle County (Illinois) Coroner Richard Ploch said forensic dental identification and DNA testing helped confirm Day’s identity. The body was first found in the Illinois River Sept. 4, over a week after Day first went missing.

At this time, the cause of death is unknown and an investigation is ongoing.

Day’s family released the following message on Facebook:

Day, 25, was last seen Aug. 24. at the Illinois State University, where he was a graduate student. His family in and a faculty member reported him missing after he did not show up for class for several days.

On Aug. 27, Day’s car was found in Peru, Illinois with no license plates in a wooded area south of the Illinois Valley YMCA and north of the intersection of 12th Street and Westclox Avenue.

Day graduated from Alabama A&M in 2018, where he majored in speech-language pathology.

Several agencies are involved in the investigation, including:

  • Bloomington Police Department
  • Illinois State University Police Department
  • Peru Police Department
  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency
  • LaSalle County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office
  • LaSalle County State’s Attorney Office
  • LaSalle Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Springfield Division, and the
  • Illinois State Police

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