Jelani Day's Mother, Fraternity Want Feds to Take Over Case, Say Local Police Have Shown 'Inability' 

Jelani Day, a 25-year-old graduate student at Illinois State University, disappeared on Aug. 24

Jelani Day
Jelani Day. Photo: Justice for Jelani Day Facebook

The former fraternity and the mother of an Illinois graduate student whose body was found floating in a river are asking the FBI to look into his mysterious death.

The Nu Epsilon chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Alabama A&M University started a online petition Thursday demanding federal as well as state authorities to take over the investigation from the Bloomington Police Department into the death of 25-year-old Jelani Day.

"This agency has shown the inability to handle a case of this nature," the fraternity said in a letter to state and federal officials included with the petition.

"Jelani is loved and represents the absolute best of our beloved fraternity; therefore, bringing those responsible for this heinous act to justice is not a request but a demand," the letter said. "The person(s) responsible for Jelani's death is now walking our community free, and we will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice."

The petition and letter were also shared by Day's mother, Carmen Bolden Day, on her Facebook page.

Jelani Day
Jelani Day. Justice for Jelani Day Facebook

Day, a 25-year-old graduate student at Illinois State University, disappeared on Aug. 24. He was last seen at a marijuana dispensary. His family reported him missing the next day.

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His car was found in Peru, Ill., about 60 miles away from his university, on Aug. 26.

On Sept. 4, a body was discovered floating in the Illinois River in the LaSalle Peru area. The coroner identified the body as Day on Sept. 23 "through forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison." The coroner said his cause of death was unknown, pending further investigation and toxicology testing.

Day's burial is scheduled for Tuesday. Rev. Jesse Jackson is expected to attend.

The petition has garnered more than 28,000 signatures.

The Bloomington Police Department could not be reached for comment.

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