Coroner: Jelani Day died from drowning

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LASALLE COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – Lasalle County Coroner Richard Ploch announced on Monday that Jelani Day died from drowning.

“After consideration of the currently known circumstances surrounding his death, based upon review of the extensive available investigation, medical, and dental information and after postmortem examination with multiple ancillary and special studies, the cause of death of this positively identified 25-year-old, male, Jelani Jesse Javonte Day, is drowning,” Ploch said in a press release.

Day was found in the Illinois River on Sept. 4 near Peru. How he entered the river is still unknown, Ploch said.

Ploch stated that there is no specific positive test during Day’s autopsy for drowning; he reached his conclusion through a process of elimination. Ploch further stated that there was no evidence of pre-death injuries to Day’s body, such as strangulation, an assault or altercation, sharp, blunt or gunshot injuries. There was also no evidence of an infection, tumor, natural disease, congenital abnormality or significant drug intoxication.

The Peru, LaSalle and Bloomington Police Departments, as well as the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police, are still investigating the case.

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