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BREAKING: Lasalle County Determines Jelani Day’s Cause of Death

Written by on October 25, 2021

Photo Courtesy Bloomington Police Department. 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The LaSalle County Coroner has determined drowning as the cause of death of former Illinois State graduate student Jelani Day.

“After consideration of the currently known circumstances surrounding his death, based upon review of the extensive available investigation, medical, and dental information, and after postmortem examination with multiple ancillary and special studies, the cause of death of this positively identified 25-year-old, male, Jelani Jesse Javonte Day, is drowning,” stated LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch in the cause of death opinion.

Day was reported missing on Aug. 25 and his body was found in the IL River in Peru on Sept. 4.

Ploch stated there was no specific positive test in an autopsy for drowning.

“Drowning is considered a diagnosis of exclusion with supporting investigation circumstances when a person is found deceased in a body of water,” said Ploch.

The examination of the body was described as “suboptimal” due to the degree of decomposition.

” there was no evidence of any 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,” stated Ploch. “The manner in which Mr. Day went into the Illinois River is currently unknown”

The Peru Police Department, LaSalle Police Department, Bloomington Police Department, LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office, and the Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the case.