The death of Jelani Day has left the nation in utter confusion since he was first reported missing back in August. What started off as a protest for equal press coverage in response to Gabby Petito’s viral missing person case soon turned into a search to simply determine whether or not the 25-year-old Illinois State University college student was a victim of foul play.
Now, the LaSalle County Coroner’s Office has officially declared his cause of death to be due to drowning in the Illinois River where his remains were found on September 4.
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The LaSalle County Coroner, who officially identified Day’s body on September 23 weeks after he was first discovered, found no signs of intoxication or injury as a result of assault, altercation, strangulation or more according to ABC News. With that said, it’s still not clear how he ended up in the Illinois River to begin with. “Unfortunately, there is no specific positive test at autopsy for drowning,” coroner Richard Ploch revealed in his statement read Tuesday, further adding, “Drowning is considered a diagnosis of exclusion with supporting investigation circumstances when a person is found deceased in a body of water.”
However, his family hasn’t given up their belief that foul play was involved being that his personal belongings were found scattered in an area away from where he was found. As she told Good Morning America on Sept. 29, Jelani’s mom, Carmen Bolden Day, expressed her honest feelings by stating, “Jelani did not just disappear into thin air. Somebody knows something, somebody seen something and I need somebody to say something.”
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Hear more from Carmen Bolden Day in regards to her son’s case below, via ABC News, and we’ll continue to pray that whatever happened to Jelani Day eventually comes to light:
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