What REALLY happened to Jelani Day? Missing organs unexplained by FBI's suicide theory
DANVILLE, ILLINOIS: Hundreds of community members gathered on October 9 to celebrate the life of Illinois graduate student and aspiring doctor, Jelani Day. The celebration was held at Danville High School to share the legacy of the 25-year-old who went missing on August 25. His dead body was found in the Illinois River on September 4 and investigators reportedly identified the body as Day's 19 days later.
"Whatever he wanted to do he wasn't hesitant, believes in Jesus Christ who he represents, Jelani Day man he could have been the president, Jelani Day man he could have been the president," a friend of Day said in a song they wrote in his honor. "I thank God that God allowed Jelani to live 25 years and despite anything, Jelani listened to me and listened to his dad, he respected himself," shared his mother Carmen Bolden Day.
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"Jelani was a debater, he would argue you up and down about something he believed in, you are not going to convince Jelani to do nothing he didn't want to do," shared his mother. "Be it further resolve, that we embrace the family because all of us have a common bond that will connect us to the rest of our lives," shared one of Day's fraternity brothers. "We cannot replace brother Jelani Day, but we will continue our eternal love for him."
What happened to Jelani Day?
The coroner of LaSalle County, Illinois, confirmed Day's identity through forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison. As per reports, police have not released the cause of death. Day was reported missing on August 25 in Bloomington, Illinois.
In response to questions about the delay in his identification, Illinois State Police Sgt. Joey Watson said on September 30 that cases are prioritized in laboratories depending on whether it's a violent crime or a property crime, or if it has an upcoming court date, or whether the requesting agency has asked for rushed processing. "There are a number of mechanisms that laboratories use to ensure an agency's requests are considered and ISP strives to meet these needs through practices such as the use of overtime, outsourcing analysis to an external laboratory, and transferring cases to other ISP labs for assistance," Watson said.
A report in Chicago Sun-Times stated that Day's corpse had no eyeballs, only sockets. The body was reportedly missing its front top and bottom teeth. An autopsy performed by a private forensic pathologist suggested that his jawbone had been “sawed out”. Days' family and their attorney said the pathologist could find no brain, no liver, no spleen -- no organs. According to the pathology report, the organs were “completely liquefied." The genitalia was unidentifiable. Attorney Hallie M Bezner added that she is trying to seek scientific explanations for the severely decomposed body of Day.
“Foul play or not, it’s unusual,” John Fermon of the Bloomington Police Department said back in September. “Just right off the bat was unusual. Do I want to say that it was foul play suspected, we don’t know. It was just so unusual and somewhat suspicious that it just kind of piqued our interest of hey this is not normally how a missing persons go.” Fermon added, “this isn’t one that since his body was located we just stopped. That’s just not how law enforcement works and that’s not how we work. We’re still going to investigate, especially the circumstances around it."
As per an October 1 Fox News report, the FBI is looking at Day's case as a potential suicide. But his family does not agree. "He had a sound mind. He was not troubled by anything. We had just spoken on Monday. We have a family vacation that's planned for Thanksgiving. We were planning for that vacation," said his mother. The suicide theory also does not explain the missing organs or the state of Day's "severely decomposed" body.