Jelani Day’s family is certain no matter what the La Salle County Coroner’s Office reports, the 25-year-old did not take his own life.
Jelani’s mother, Carmen Bolden Day, said too many items in the case don’t add up.
“See it with your own eyes,” she said repeatedly, joined by chants of others, including the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a Civil Rights group led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson that marched and rallied beside her Tuesday.
“You will see the location of where the car was, and how they said where the body was found, where they said the clothes were found, where they said the wallet was found, where they said the lanyard was found, none of these are in the proper distance. None of these are anything Jelani would have purposely drove his car, took off his license plates, not have his phone, throw away his key, take off his clothes and go into a river.
“Jelani wouldn’t have done that. At all.”
Day’s mother said her son, an Illinois State University graduate student, was a young man with a lot to live for and the family will continue to fight against anyone who claims his death was a suicide. The La Salle County Coroner’s Office said Day’s cause of death was drowning with no signs of struggle, after the release of a forensic autopsy. Day’s body was found Sept. 4 in the Illinois River near the Route 251 bridge.