The Death of Jelani Day

Jelani Day

On August 25, 2021m Jelani Day, 25, was reported missing. His family had not spoken to him for the 2 days prior. Jelani was last seen on camera by ISU’s Bone Student Center around 7:20 am on August 24,2021.

After being reported missing a search was conducted on August 26, 2021, by the Illinois State Police, who used K9, drone, and ground searches. His car was discovered in the woods, in Peru, Illinois; the clothes Jelani was last seen wearing were discovered inside.

Missing poster for Jelani Day

Within a few days police got a tip that led them to a second search, in the LaSalle Peru area, which took place on September 4, 2021. During this search a body of a young man was discover, in the south bank of the Illinois River, about ¼ mile east of the Illinois Rt. 251 Bridge. The body would later be identified as Jelani.

Jelani’s family was contacted by the LaSalle County Coroner’s office on September 22, 2021, about a possible ID. Family would confirm his identity.

The cause of death and the manner of death have not been confirmed, though investigators have announced that Jelani’s death is unusual and suspicious. Watch the press release below.

Though some media sources have reported that Jelani’s organs were missing from his body, his family and the coroner have announced this is not true. The coroner of LaSalle County, Dr. Richard Ploch explained that some of his organs were decomposed due to being in the water, but were not missing. The family also posted on Facebook for clarification.  

Posts on the Justice for Jelani Facebook Page

Jelani’s death is still being actively investigated. Police stated how is car and body were found are “unusual circumstances”.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office at 815-433-2161.

Jelani Day and his mom, Carmen Bolden Day

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