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Missing Illinois State University graduate student drowned: coroner

An State University graduate student who disappeared before being found dead died from drowning, a coroner said Monday. 

Jelani Day, 25, was  Aug. 24. His family in Danville and a faculty member reported him missing after he did not show up for class for several days. 

“The cause of death of this positively identified 25-year-old male, Jelani Jesse Javonte Day, is drowning,” LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch wrote as the cause of death opinion that’s part of the forensic autopsy report for the case, The  reported. 

Jelani Day was a graduate student at Illinois State University.

Jelani Day was a graduate student at Illinois State University.
(Google Maps)

 

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has said Day’s case looks similar to other racially motivated killings

Ploch said “there was no evidence of antemortem injury, such as manual strangulation, an assault or altercation, sharp, blunt or gunshot injury, infection, tumor, natural disease, congenital abnormality, or significant drug intoxication.” 

It’s not clear how Day went into the Illinois River, Ploch said. 

Jelani Day 

Jelani Day 
(City of Bloomington – Police )

 

Day’s family will be joined by Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition on Tuesday for a march from the Peru Police Department to near the location where his car was found on Aug. 26 in Peru, about 60 miles north of Bloomington. 

A multijurisdictional task force including the Illinois State Police, the Bloomington and Peru police departments, LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit continue to investigate Day’s death. 

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