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Jelani Day investigation: Dive team found no evidence, sheriff says

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

LASALLE COUNTY — Authorities say they are continuing to seek evidence in the death of 25-year-old Illinois State University student Jelani Day, whose body was found last month in the Illinois River.

LaSalle County Sheriff Adam Diss said in a social media post Wednesday that members of a multijurisdictional investigation unit are meeting daily to follow up on the case, which has drawn national attention. 

He said investigators are looking over hundreds of hours of security camera footage, and the Plainfield Fire Department dive team performed a search for items connected to the case. However, no results were found from that search.

Day was last seen in Bloomington in Aug. 24, and his car was found in Peru two days later. The body was discovered in the river on Sept. 4 and confirmed as Day's on Sept. 23. 

Jelani Day - File

Illinois State University students at the Bone Student Center on Sept. 23 walk past a poster seeking the whereabouts of Jelani Day. The graduate student went missing nearly a month earlier, and his body was found Sept. 4 in the Illinois River in LaSalle County. 

Illinois State Police, Bloomington Police, Peru Police, the LaSalle County sheriff's and coroner's offices are assisting in the investigation, as is the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, he said. Anyone with information on Day's death is asked to call 815-433-2161.

Diss and LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch did not respond to The Pantagraph's requests for comment Wednesday. Ploch's office previously told The Pantagraph that toxicology reports were still pending.

State police said Sunday that a DNA test backlog did not delay identification of the student. His mother, Carmen Bolden Day, earlier this week sought to address rumors circulating on social media, saying none of her son's organ's were missing and as far as she was aware "this is not a case of organ harvesting." 

Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison


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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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