Earlier we reported that the mother of missing Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day said local police are not giving her son’s case the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, a body that was found back on Sept 4 was identified on Thursday as Day, who went missing in late August.
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The cause of death was not immediately known and was pending further investigation and toxicology testing, the coroner’s office said.
“Our hearts are broken,” Day’s family said in a statement. “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.”
Jelani Day (Twitter)
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The body was first discovered weeks earlier, near where Day’s car was found shortly after he was reported missing, but officials said identification could take weeks or months due to the condition of the body.
“We’ve given them DNA so they can identify the body,” Day’s mother Carmen Bolden Day told NBC Chicago this week. “However what I was told (was) that the crime lab does not have the solution that they need to process the DNA.”
Day disappeared on Aug. 24 and hadn’t been seen since. His car was found two days later in a wooded area near where the body was discovered, miles from where he was last seen.
His family and a professor reported him missing on Aug. 25 after he did not show up for class for several days.
The morning before his disappearance, Day was seen on surveillance video going into a dispensary in Bloomington, IL. Two days later, his car was found in the woods 60 miles away in Peru, Illinois. Police said the clothes he was last seen wearing in the surveillance video were found in his white Chrysler 300.
Jelani Day was 25.
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