Body found in Illinois River is Jelani Day, coroner confirms

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LASALLE COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The LaSalle County Coroner has confirmed the male body found in the Illinois River on Sept. 4 is Jelani Day.

Coroner Richard Ploch said forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison helped confirm the identity of the body.

At this time, the cause of death is unknown, and an investigation is ongoing. Toxicology is still testing.

Jelani Day, 25, was last seen Aug. 24. at the Illinois State University campus. His family in Danville and a faculty member reported him missing after he did not show up for class for several days.

His last known location was at Beyond Hello in Bloomington at 9:21 a.m. Aug. 24.

Day’s car was recovered in Peru, IL on Aug. 27 with no license plates in a wooded area south of the Illinois Valley YMCA and north of the intersection of 12th Street and Westclox Avenue.

A Facebook page run and moderated by the family sent out a statement Thursday.

Several agencies are involved in the investigation, including:

  • Bloomington Police Department
  • Illinois State University Police Department
  • Peru Police Department
  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency
  • LaSalle County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office
  • LaSalle County State’s Attorney Office
  • LaSalle Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Springfield Division, and the
  • Illinois State Police

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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