A new development in the death of Jelani Day has left many hopeful that the graduate student’s family will receive the answers they have searched for.
Samantha Chatman of ABC 7 in Chicago, Illinois has reported that local authorities have recovered Day’s cell phone. With this phone, police hope they can learn more about where Day was and who he may have spoken to in the hours leading up to his disappearance.
“With respect to his location, his movement, who he was communicating with, the content of those communications, I really think that if we can find his phone, digital forensics will advance this investigation in a major way,” private investigator Sergio Serritella told ABC 7.
Details regarding Day’s death remain unclear. As reported by Black Information Network earlier this year, Day was last seen alive entering a retail store in Bloomington, Illinois on August 24. Days later, the graduate student’s abandoned car was found in Peru, Illinois. Nearly a full month later, his body was discovered floating through the Illinois River. Ultimately, LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch determined that Day’s body displayed no signs of altercations, injury, gunfire, drug intoxication, injury or assault. However, Day’s family feels that the autopsy was an “insult.”
“Jelani was an avid swimmer, and an avid swimmer doesn’t drown himself,” Day’s mother, Carmen, told BET.
“Jelani didn’t have depression or mental issues. Those are indicative of someone that had suicidal thoughts. That’s not what my son had.”
According to WSPY, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson revealed that Day had spent time with two unidentified white women before he disappeared. He also noted that those two women have hired attorneys since Day’s disappearance. With that said, the police have not yet identified a lead suspect in his death.
More details will be revealed regarding Day’s disappearance in the days and weeks ahead.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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