The LaSalle County Coroner has identified a male body found earlier this month as 25-year-old Jelani “JJ” Day of Bloomington, Illinois. Day, a graduate student at Illinois State University, was first reported missing on Aug. 25. The cause of death was not immediately known. Day’s body was discovered in a river near his abandoned car weeks earlier, but its condition had so deteriorated in the water that it took until Wednesday to get a positive identification. Officials said the ID was made through forensic dental identification and DNA testing.
Day’s mother, Carmen Bolden Day, said during the search efforts that it wasn’t like her son to vanish suddenly. She told reporters she believed “there was someone involved” in his disappearance. Other family members have called for the FBI to get involved, criticizing the lack of attention and resources being given to the investigation, as compared to the recent Gabby Petito case. Day was last seen on surveillance footage shot Aug. 24, as he went into a dispensary in Bloomington. It was two days later that his car was discovered, some 60 miles away, with the clothes he was wearing in the footage stored inside. Police said he vanished under “unexplained suspicious circumstances.”