Authorities said Thursday that the body found in the Illinois River earlier this month matches the description of missing Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day.
NBC affiliate WREX reported that the LaSalle County Coroner’s Office said the cause of death at this time is unknown and an investigation is ongoing.
The coroner’s office confirmed on Thursday that forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison helped identify Day’s body, which was found Sept. 4.
Press release from the LaSalle Coroner’s Office. The body was located on Sept. 4. Jelani Day was reported missing on August 25 pic.twitter.com/6dFbIZFTB3
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 23, 2021
Day, 25, was reported missing on Aug. 25 and was last seen in public the previous day after missing several days of classes.
Authorities found his vehicle on Aug. 26 during their search. It contained the same clothes he was wearing when he was last seen in public, WREX reported.
“There are no words to clearly communicate our devastation. We learned this morning from the LaSalle County Coroner the deceased man found in Peru, IL on Saturday, September 4 is Jelani. Our hearts are broken,” Day’s family said in a statement shared on Facebook on Thursday.
“We ask that you continue to pray for our family during what will be very hard days ahead. Throughout these 30 days, our very first concern was finding Jelani, and now we need to find out #WhatHappenedToJelaniDay.”