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Body found in Illinois River identified as Jelani Day

The 25-year-old graduate student had been missing since last month.

Jelani Day Bloomington Police Department

The search for Jelani Day has come to a tragic end.

According to NBC Chicago, the body that was found earlier this month in the Illinois River has been identified as the missing Illinois State University graduate student. “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.”

As REVOLT previously reported, Day was last seen on Aug. 24 on surveillance footage. He entered a local dispensary in Bloomington at around 9:12 a.m. He was wearing a black graphic T-shirt, a blue Detroit Lions baseball hat, white shorts and black shoes.

The next day, the 25-year-old’s family reported him missing after attempting to reach him numerous times. Day also did not show up to his graduate classes at Illinois State University for several days. On Aug. 26, Day’s abandoned vehicle was found. Authorities with the Peru Police Department responded to a report of a vehicle in a wooded area near the Illinois Valley YMCA. Once officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the graduate student’s white 2010 Chrysler 300.

Authorities found the clothing Day wore on the day he went missing in his vehicle. They used K-9 dogs to search the area, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

A few days later, a body was found near the area where Day’s car was located, however, officials said determining the identity of the body would take weeks. Carmen Bolden Day, the mother of the missing student, said she and other family members gave their DNA to authorities so the body could be identified. The LaSalle County Coroner said Day’s cause of death is still unknown and under investigation.

The REVOLT team would like to send our condolences out to Day's family and friends. May he rest in peace.

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