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There’s a sad update to report surrounding Jelani Day. A coroner has confirmed that the body of the missing Illinois State University grad student has been identified.

Jelani Day


LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch noted that a male body found “floating near the south bank of the Illinois River approximately ¼ mile east of the Illinois Rt. 251 Bridge of the Illinois River” on Sept. 4 is Jelani Day.

Ploch said forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison helped confirm the identity of the body, reports NBC Chicago.

At this time, the cause of death for the student reported missing since August 25 is unknown, and toxicology is still testing. The aspiring doctor’s family has released a statement on his unfortunate passing saying;

“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.”

Day made headlines this week after his family pleaded for answers surrounding his disappearance. In particular, his mother Carmen Bolden Day was urging the FBI to get involved after the department helped in the case of Gabby Petito, the missing 22-year-old white woman whose remains were quickly recovered in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. Ms. Day was hopeful that the FBI’s additional resources would bring her son home more quickly.


We are so, so, sorry that things didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped.

This story is still developing…

R.I.P. Jelani Day.


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