Investigators in the case of Jelani Day announced on Nov. 12 that they had located his cell phone, which had been missing since Day was reported missing on Aug. 25 in Bloomington, Illinois. The cell phone was found on Oct. 17 near a freeway exit in Bloomington by a man securing a mattress tied to his truck.
Jelani’s mother, Carmen Day, requested that the cell phone be sent to the FBI because she lost trust in the local investigators’ ability to investigate her son’s death properly. Day’s body was found on Sept. 4 in the Illinois River near Peru. An Oct. 25 autopsy determined that the grad student drowned. His family does not accept the report and believes that Day was murdered.
Carmen was asked by Newsy why she didn’t want local authorities handling her son’s phone.
“Because I don’t trust them at this point. If you look at how the evidence had been found, the car is found one place, I’m told about the different people that found the car then its the wallet that’s found…by a man and his son….then two bored young ladies from ISU go looking for Jelani and they find his clothing by a riverbank.”
She added that she doesn’t believe the local police in Peru or Bloomington are looking for answers and says that the evidence they have fell into their laps. Rev. Jesse Jackson also called for outside agencies to investigate day’s death during a rally for Day in Peru.
Carmen Day also said that she was insulted by the autopsy results and noted her son’s swimming capabilities.
“Jelani was an avid swimmer, and an avid swimmer doesn’t drown himself,” Day said. “Jelani didn’t have depression or mental issues. Those are indicative of someone that had suicidal thoughts. That’s not what my son had.”
Day was reportedly seen with two white women the day before he went missing, and both women have reportedly gotten attorneys. The Illinois State University graduate student was last seen at a cannabis dispensary in Bloomington on Aug. 24 around 9 a.m.
Day’s body was found in a separate location from his clothes, car and wallet. His clothing, wallet and car were found in four different areas. His friends and family also indicated that he didn’t know anyone in Peru, so his belongings being located there were suspicious.
The LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department confirmed on Nov. 15 that day’s phone was sent to the FBI for further testing. Authorities hope that the phone can help solve the mystery of day’s death.