Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day laid to rest as family pushes murder theory

Family and friends of Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day were continuing to demand answers on Tuesday, as he was laid to rest.

Day was reported missing on Aug. 24. On September 5, his body was found in the Illinois River. The family is upset that the FBI is looking at whether he might have committed suicide.

"He had a sound mind. He was not troubled by anything. We had just spoken on Monday. We have a family vacation that's planned for Thanksgiving. We were planning for that vacation," said mother Carmen Bolden-Day in early October.

His family is offering a more than $25,000 reward for information leading to what happened to Jelani.

"My son did not put himself in a river. My son was murdered and my goal and purpose are to find out what happened and hold those responsible accountable!!" said his mother in a statement last week.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. attended the burial service in Danville on Tuesday.

In a statement, Rev. Jackson said he agrees with Day's mother.

"Jelani was brutally murdered in Peru, Illinois and found faced down in the Illinois River. We are requesting a thorough investigation because local officials have been very difficult to deal with. They have not been forthcoming," he said.


If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (tel:18002738255). Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.