Was 'Missing' Jelani Day Murdered And Thrown Into River? Cops Call it 'Unusual' as Cause of Death Remains Unclear

Days after being reported missing, the dead body of Jelani Day, a graduate student at Illinois State University, has been found. Day's body was found floating near the south bank of the Illinois River on September 4.

Day's case gained spotlight following the disappearance of Gabby Petito following a road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

Jelani Day
Jelani Day Twitter

Who Was Jelani Day?

The 25-year-old was reported missing on August 25 after he didn't show up in his class in Bloomington for several days. ABC 7 reported that Day's family had no communication with him since August 23, a day before he was last seen on the campus. Prior to his disappearance, Day was caught on a surveillance camera entering a dispensary in Bloomington.

Two days later, on August 26, Day's car, a white Chrysler 300, was found abandoned in the wooden area of in Peru, Illinois. The clothes which he was seen wearing in the video were also found inside the car.

Following the recovery of the human remains from the river on September 4, the victim's family was informed by the coroner that due to the condition of the body, it will take several weeks or months to identify.

On Thursday, the LaSalle County Coroner confirmed that the body was of the 25-year-old missing student. The cause of death was not immediately known and was pending further investigation and toxicology testing, the coroner's office said.

Who Killed Day?

WCIA.com reported that Day's death was described as unusual by the authorities who didn't rule out the possibility of a foul play. "Foul play or not, it's unusual," John Fermon, Bloomington Police Department, told the outlet.

"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 peaked our interest of hey this is not normally how a missing persons go," Fermon said.

Soon after the reports of Day's body being identified emerged, netizens were wondering if the missing student was murdered before being thrown into the river. "I really wanna know the real story on what happened to #JELANIDAY because it's just not adding up," tweeted a user.

"Unfortunately his body has been found but by no means does that mean this case is over and done with. The question still stands. WHAT HAPPENED TO #JELANIDAY," wrote another