Jelani Day’s mother pleads for answers from elected leaders

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 10:05 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 9:25 AM CST
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PERU (25 News Now) - Almost a year-and-a-half later, the mother of the late Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day, is pleading again for transparency and answers in the investigation of her son’s death.

Monday night, Carmen Bolden-Day spoke before Peru City Council, the mayor and police chief to ask for accountability and justice for Jelani Day.

Jelani Day was found dead in the Illinois River in Peru in Sept. of 2021, 10 days after he was reported missing, but he was not identified for almost three weeks. The coroner says his cause of death was drowning, but his mother says he was a good swimmer and suspects foul play.

Since then, Bolden-Day has worked to get the Jelani Day Bill passed and formed the Jelani Day Foundation.

”I do not know why you all think that I should settle for the minimum. I do not know why you think that I should accept knowing that you have over 500 hours plus of video, he isn’t found on any of your cameras, and all of the leads point to nowhere. I don’t know why my family has to endure this emotionally draining nightmare,” said Bolden Day.

Bolden-Day says she has not been contacted by the Jelani Day Task Force in two months, regarding any updates or progress in the investigation.

Per meeting standards, the council did not respond to her comments, but thanked her for speaking.

The Jelani Day Task Force at one time included the FBI. 25News has received comment from the Peru Police Department regarding the task force and any updates in the investigation.

The Peru Police Department and all other law enforcement agencies that have been involved in the death investigation of Jelani Day have worked tirelessly since Jelani Day’s disappearance on August 24, 2021. This is an ongoing and active investigation and no law enforcement agency can publicly or should publicly comment on any part of the investigation. I can confirm and assure you that the investigation has been and will continue to be a priority for all agencies involved. We are also committed to continue to provide Jelani’s family with all information that we are at liberty to disclose.

Peru Police Chief Sarah Raymond