Thursday, January 27, 2022

Death of Jelani Day Ruled a Drowning, Coroner Finds

Jelani Day (Twitter)

*Graduate student Jelani Day’s cause of death was drowning, according to LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch.

The Illinois State University graduate student was last seen in Bloomington on the morning of Aug. 24. His abandoned vehicle was found two days later and when police inspected the car they reportedly found the clothing he was last seen wearing.

Unfortunately, his body was found in the Illinois River on Sept 4. His cause of death was not immediately known but Day’s brain, eyeballs, spleen and more were reportedly removed from his body, an independent autopsy found.

How Day got into the Illinois River remains “unknown,” CNN reports.

Ploch wrote that the forensic exam of Day’s remains found “there was no evidence of any (pre-death) injury, such as manual strangulation, an assault or altercation, sharp, blunt, or gunshot injury, infection, tumor, natural disease, congenital abnormality, or significant drug intoxication.”

READ MORE: Jelani Day Update: Body Found in Illinois River Identified as the Missing ISU Grad Student

Jelani’s mother, Carmen Bolden Day, disagrees with the coroner’s report.

“That is a narrative that my son did something to himself. He did not,” she said at a general assembly meeting of Illinois State’s Black Student Union.

Bolden Day said she believes someone is responsible for her son’s death.

“Somebody did this to him, and they are going to be held responsible for doing what they did to my son,” she said.

“I don’t believe it. That’s a suicide line. We don’t believe it,” Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. said at the meeting. “The Department of Justice and the attorney general needs to be a part of this.”

“Who killed him must pay a price,” Jackson said. “That’s why we march tomorrow.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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