Coroner confirms male body found in Illinois River was missing ISU student

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LASALLE COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — LaSalle Coroner’s Office announced Thursday that the male body located on September 4 in Illinois River near Peru was confirmed to be the missing graduate Illinois State University student – Jelani Day.

Officials said they identified the male body as 25-year-old Jelani Day of Bloomington through dental identification and DNA testing. The cause of death is unknown. The 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, the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Springfield Division and the Illinois State Police are all working together to investigate this case further.

According to previous releases, Jelani Day was reported missing on August 25. His family reported that they had last spoken with him in the evening hours of August 23. Jelani was seen at the Illinois State University campus on August 24 and his last known location was at Beyond Hello in Bloomington on the same day. On August 26, Jelani’s vehicle was located in Peru. Based on findings by the Peru Police Department when recovering the vehicle, an extensive K9 search was conducted by the Illinois State Police, drone aerial searches by Peru Fire and Utica Fire as well as a ground search by teams from Peru, Utica, and Oglesby. Subsequent searches were conducted in the Peru area and Jelani was not located. On September 4, an additional search was conducted in the LaSalle Peru area by members of the Illinois Search and Rescue Council along with other search agencies in the area. During the search, a male decedent was recovered floating near the south bank of the Illinois River approximately ¼ mile east of the Illinois Rt. 251 Bridge.

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