Local News

Jelani Day case: Toxicology doesn’t reveal cause of death

Investigators say more test results needed

Lab results are trickling in from the Jelani Day death investigation — so far without anything conclusive — and La Salle County authorities said Friday much work remains to be done.

Toxicology results were tendered Oct. 13 to the La Salle County Coroner’s Office, but these showed nicotine, caffeine and THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. None would have induced death. Investigators continue seeking answers to Day’s disappearance and death.

“It’s going to be a while because we are waiting for more testing,” said La Salle County Coroner Rich Ploch.

La Salle County Sheriff Adam Diss said he, too, is waiting for the pathologist to release information on the cause of death.

Diss said investigators from the multi-jurisdictional unit “meet and work every day following up on any leads available and trying to comb through hundreds of hours of video.”

“All of the agencies involved have contributed large amounts of manpower, and all of the Investigators in this case have worked tirelessly and have been devoted to this case all in the hopes of helping this family and answering the question of what happened to Jelani Day,” he said. “I’m personally grateful for the team of hardworking and dedicated officers that have been assembled to work on this case.”

Recent efforts haven’t provided many answers. The toxicology results issued Wednesday don’t suggest a cause of death and divers who recently scoured the Illinois River body was recovered turned up no new clues.

The public is asked to assist investigators with any tips or information by calling 815-433-2161.

The Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Unit consists of members from the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office; Peru, La Salle and Bloomington police departments, Illinois State Police, La Salle County Coroner’s Office, and FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.

Day, 25, an Illinois State University graduate student, was identified as the body found dead Sept. 4 in the Illinois River near the Route 251 bridge in Peru. Day, who was reported missing Aug. 25, was identified through forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison. Day’s vehicle was found Aug. 26 concealed in a wooded area near the Illinois Valley YMCA in Peru. Other items such as his wallet and an ISU lanyard also have been reported found in the La Salle-Peru area.