Police: Body in river was missing Illinois State student

Associated Press

Bloomington, Ill. — A body discovered in a river nearly three weeks ago has been confirmed as a graduate student missing from Illinois State University, authorities said Thursday.

Jelani Day's identity was confirmed through DNA and dental records, the LaSalle County coroner's office said.

Jelani Day

Day, 25, was last seen at the Illinois State campus on Aug. 24. His car was found in Peru two days later. The body was discovered in the Illinois River in the LaSalle-Peru area on Sept. 4.

"There are no words to clearly communicate our devastation. ... Our hearts are broken," Day's family said on Facebook.

“As of this moment, we do not know what happened to Jelani and we will not stop until we do,” the family said.

Investigators are trying to determine if Day was a victim of foul play, said John Fermon, a Bloomington police spokesman.

“Over time, that's where we'll get that answer,” he said of the investigation.

Day wanted to become a doctor and was pursuing a master’s degree in speech pathology at Illinois State, his mother said.

llinois State President Terri Goss Kinzy referred to Day in a speech Tuesday.

“In consultation with Jelani’s family, we will continue to provide support to them and as a community, I ask that we all provide support to each other,” she said.