25-Year-Old Graduate Student loses his life – family claims investigators did not do their part

On Aug. 25th, 2021, 25-year-old graduate student Jelani Day went missing in Bloomington, Normal, IL, shortly before Gabby Petito’s story took the internet over. Jelani Day had just graduated from A&M University. He was a bright student who ran track and was a member of the fraternity Omega Psi Phi. He came to Illinois State to continue to further his education and get his master’s in speech pathology.
The day before Day went missing, he was seen at Beyond/Hello dispensary on their security cameras. Day’s family filed the police report on Aug. 25th and told police that they had not spoken to him in a few days, and he had not attended class in several days, which is very unusual for Day.
The following day, Day’s car was found in Peru, IL, about 60 miles north of Bloomington-Normal. His clothing was found inside his vehicle. As the investigation went on, Day’s mother asked everybody to help search for her son and even offered a $25,000 reward for answers about what happened to her son.
Authorities found a body in the Illinois River on Sept. 4th, 2021, and told Day’s family that it could take weeks to identify the body they found. On Sept. 23rd LaSalle County coroner identified the body that was found on Sept. 4th as Jelani Day, and authorities have yet to determine the cause of death. It took 29 days after Day went missing before his body was identified.
As time passed, his death was ruled a suicide and he was said to have drowned himself. Carmen Day, Jelani Day’s mother, does not believe that Day committed suicide and that he was an avid swimmer for one second. She also stated that Day did not struggle with depression or mental health issues that she was aware of. She posted that he was excited about his future of becoming a doctor.
Day’s family and attorney feel that the authorities did not prioritize Day like they did Gabby Petito. Day’s mother believes that her son was murdered, and the authorities and the community did not do enough to help her son and is still seeking answers about her son. Day’s mother has been using social media to get her message across and to hold those accountable for the situation at hand. She feels that there should be FBI involvement in this case and will not stop fighting until this investigation is thoroughly investigated.
Carmen Day has been and will proceed to use the power of social media to get her message across in hopes of getting the justice her son deserves.
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