Aspiring Black Doctor Jelani Day Remains Missing After Sudden Disappearance


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UPDATE (Thursday, September 23):

Jelani Day's body has been found, the LaSalle County Coroner's Office said on Thursday (September 23).

According to officials, a male body was discovered on September 4 and the LaSalle County coroner positively identified the body as Day on Thursday “using DNA testing and comparison,” ABC 7 reported. The 25-year-old’s cause of death is currently unknown.

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Nearly one month after the sudden disappearance of Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day, police are still searching for answers.

According to the Bloomington Police Department, Day was last seen on August 24 as he entered a retail store called Beyond / Hello in Bloomington, Illinois. Surveillance video recordings show that Day was wearing white shorts, a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt and black shoes while his Chrysler 300 sat in the store's parking lot.

Two days after Day was spotted entering a local retail store, police responded to a call about a car in a wooded area south of the Illinois Valley YMCA. According to People, Day's Chrysler 300 was found at the scene along with the clothes he was seen wearing on August 24.

"Upon a search of law enforcement computerized files, it was determined the vehicle was a vehicle of interest in a missing person case out of Bloomington, Illinois. The vehicle was one belonging to Mr. Jelani J. Day, age 25 of Bloomington, Illinois," Day's missing person report, reads according to People.

Three weeks have passed and it does not appear that Day's family is any closer to getting the answers that they deserve. Still, Day's mother, Carmen, doesn't want the police or the public to give up hope looking for her son.

We don't have a lot of information," Carmen Day told Newsy.

"I don't feel like I'm getting the help that I need. I'm imploring, pleading and asking that the police still pay attention and look for my son."

Unfortunately, Day's disappearance is part of a larger pattern within the United States. While Black people make up only 13% of the nation's population, Black people make up nearly 40% of the country's missing population. Making matters worse, the Black and Missing Foundation reports that the disappearances of Black adults are often associated with "criminal involvement, gangs and drugs" and dismissed.

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