Ill. Graduate Student, 25, Who Wants to Be a Doctor, Is Missing as Family Pleads for Public's Help
An Illinois family is pleading for answers after their son — an aspiring doctor — disappeared last month.
Jelani Day, a graduate student at Illinois State University, was last seen on Aug. 24, the Bloomington Police Department — who is leading the investigation and search efforts — revealed in the missing persons report. His family reported the 25-year-old missing the following day, after they made many attempts to reach him, but were unsuccessful. Day had also not shown up to class for several days, prompting concern among faculty members at ISU, according to the report.
On Tuesday, Aug. 24, Day was seen on surveillance footage entering a store called Beyond/Hello in Bloomington at around 9:12 a.m. In images obtained by police and shared in the report, Day is seen wearing a blue Detroit Lions baseball hat, a black graphic T-shirt, white shorts and black shoes.
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While Day's whereabouts are unknown, police believe they have located his vehicle.
On Aug. 26, officers with the Peru Police Department responded to a report of a vehicle in a wooded area south of the Illinois Valley YMCA. When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered a white 2010 Chrysler 300, concealed by trees.
After inspecting the vehicle, officials say they found the articles of clothing Day was wearing when he was last seen on Aug. 24. Police, along with the help of K-9 officials, searched the area, but there was no sign of the graduate student, who is also a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
"Upon a search of law enforcement computerized files, it was determined the vehicle was a vehicle of interest in a missing person case out of Bloomington,Illinois. The vehicle was one belonging to Mr. Jelani J. Day, age 25 of Bloomington, Illinois," police state in the missing person report.
An investigation into Day's disappearance is ongoing.
As police work to find Day, his family, friends and loved ones are asking the public to share his story.
His brother, Seve Day, says he's "never giving up."
"This is my little brother," he wrote alongside a copy of the missing persons report on Twitter. "He been missing for 3 weeks as of today now. Please help me and my family find him, one retweet can make a huge difference. I love him so much #FindJelaniDay I'm never giving up."
Day's mother, Carmen, has also spoken out, telling Newsy, "We don't have a lot of information."
"I don't feel like I'm getting the help that I need... I'm imploring, pleading and asking that the police still pay attention and look for my son," she told the outlet.
Speaking about her son, Carmen said that during their last conversation Day told her he was going to class and that he'd call her later. "He said 'Okay mama, I just wanted to hear your voice.' And that was our last conversation on Aug. 23."
Day's fraternity is also encouraging search efforts.
"Help us bring. Bro Jelani Day ('18 NE) home safe. If you have any information or have seen Jelani please contact BFD Dispatch 309-820-8888 or contact Det. Paul Jones at 309-434-2548 or firstname.lastname@example.org," the organization tweeted.