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Mother, lawyer comment about report of organs missing from Jelani Day

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Illinois State University students file onto the floor of Redbird Arena during a memorial for Jelani Day on Thursday. 

Carmen Bolden Day says to work does not end with laying her son to rest. READ MORE HERE.

BLOOMINGTON — The mother of Jelani Day in a social media post said "no organs were missing" from her son, an Illinois State University student whose body was found in the Illinois River last month.

The Chicago Sun-Times over the weekend reported that when the body was found, "the family’s private forensic pathologist could find no brain, according to Day and her attorney. No organs. Neither liver. Nor spleen."

The details received intense interest on social media on Sunday and Monday. 

The story later explained the organs had decomposed after his body spent several days in the river and therefore were not present when a second autopsy was performed.

Jelani's mother, Carmen Bolden Day, in a Facebook post Monday said: “Some things need and have to be clarified. No organs were missing. I do not want to stray off from the facts.”

Hallie Bezner, attorney for Day’s family, told The Pantagraph she believes the Sun-Times’ report was accurate, but having seen rumors circulating on social media that misconstrued the story, “I think that people read between the lines to try to have some conspiracy that doesn't exist."

The organs had not been removed prior to Day’s death, Bezner said of the pathology reports. Bolden Day said as far as she is aware "this is not a case of organ harvesting."

Authorities have not released what caused the death or how Jelani Day ended up in the waterway.

The 25-year-old went missing on Aug. 24 and his car was found in Peru two days later. The body was discovered in the river on Sept. 4. The LaSalle County Coroner’s Office confirmed it was Day’s body on Sept. 23.

A memorial service was held Saturday in Danville, where Day graduated from high school.


Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.

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LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch said the office received the results Wednesday, but he declined to comment on the report’s content “due to the ongoing investigation.”

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