Jelani Day, a 25-year-old graduate student at Illinois State University, has been missing since Aug. 25. A body that was found in the Illinois River is now confirmed to be Day.
According to CNN, a coroner of LaSalle County, Illinois confirmed the tragic news via forensic dental identification and DNA testing The cause of death is unknown at this time.
Day’s family said in a statement, “Our hearts are broken. 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 was last seen August 24 on surveillance footage entering a dispensary in Bloomington, Illinois. His vehicle was located in Peru, Illinois on August 26, which is approximately 60 miles away from the dispensary.
Police stated Day disappeared under “unexplained suspicious circumstances.” Day’s mother, Carmen Bolden Day, explained it was not like her son to disappear and also said, “He wasn’t depressed. He didn’t have any kind of pressures that would make him want to escape from life. So I do feel as if there was someone involved.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the 25-year-old was a graduate of Alabama A&M. He was in his second semester at Illinois State University for speech pathology.
The body was found on Sept. 4 in the Illinois River but the coroner did not confirm it was Day untilt today (Sept. 23).