The body of Jelani Day, a missing Illinois State University graduate student who was last seen on August 24, has been identified by the LaSalle County Coroner, according to reports.
The 25-year-old Day was found in the Illinois River on September 4, and after forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison, Coroner Richard Ploch confirmed that the body was his.
The cause of death is still unknown, and toxicology is still testing.
“I am deeply saddened to share with you that today the LaSalle County Coroner’s Office confirmed the remains found in early September have been identified as Jelani Day,” Illinois State president Dr. Terri Goss said in a statement.
“Together, we mourn his loss. His family and friends are foremost in our thoughts during this difficult time, and we extend our deepest condolences.”
Bloomington Police Department Spokesperson John Fermon said that authorities are still uncertain if there was foul play.
Day’s family released a statement of their own saying, “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.
“We STILL need people who have information to come forward. If you know anything about what happened to Jelani, or had contact with Jelani in the days and weeks before his disappearance, please contact Bloomington Police Detective Paul Jones at (309)434-2548 or email him at [email protected]”
More details of his disappearance include:
Jelani Day, 25, was last seen Aug. 24. at the Illinois State University campus. His family in Danville and a faculty member reported him missing after he did not show up for class for several days. His last known location was at Beyond Hello in Bloomington at 9:21 a.m. Aug. 24.
Day’s car was recovered in Peru, IL on Aug. 27 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.
Our deepest condolences go out to Day’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.