• Malana Perkins

Jelani Day: The Tragic Ending Of The Missing ISU Student

The story of Gabby Petito, a young white woman, was broadcasted across nations as she was missing, then was tragically discovered this month. Meanwhile, Illinois State University student Jelani Day has been missing since August 24, 2021. Today, The LaSalle County Coroner has identified a body found in the Illinois River as Jelani Day.

On August 24, 2021, Day disappeared. His mother, Carmen Bolden Day, called with no answer from Jelani Day as well as his professors noticing his absence in classes that day.

On August 25, 2021, Days' family reported a missing person case in hopes of finding him. Day’s car was found two days later in a wooded area in Peru, Illinois near where the body was discovered, miles from where he was last seen.


Before his discovery, Carmen Day went on on Newsy to express her frustration with the media creating racial disparities between Petito’s case and other missing people of color, including her son.

“I Know Gabby, the missing girl, and she has been missing for two days and her face is plastered everywhere and the FBI is involved.” Carmen Day, Jelani’s mother said. “And I do not understand why Jelani doesn’t get that Same coverage and attention.”

Currently, it is still under investigation on the cause of Day’s death and his family are demanding answers to why it happened in the first place. Currently, Illinois State University posted on their Twitter account a statement of Day’s discovery today with information following how to prevent another incident like this from happening again.