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ISU Grad Student Missing Under 'Unexplained Suspicious Circumstances'

 Jelani Day
Jelani Day, 25, was last seen Tuesday morning on a security camera at ISU’s Bone Student Center.

Authorities are looking for the public’s help locating an Illinois State University graduate student who went missing this week under “unexplained suspicious circumstances.”

Jelani Day, 25, was last seen Tuesday morning on a security camera at ISU’s Bone Student Center. He was reported missing Wednesday by his family. His vehicle was found Thursday concealed in a wooded area in Peru, about 60 miles north of Normal. An extensive ground and aerial search were conducted.

Day's vehicle
Jelani Day's vehicle, which was found Thursday in Peru in LaSalle County, authorities said.

Day is Black, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, with short black hair and brown eyes, with some facial hair. Day’s vehicle is a white 2010 Chrysler 300 (Illinois registration #CH74067). On Tuesday morning he was wearing a blue, button-up collared dress shirt, black pants, black belt, black dress shoes, and a blue face covering, authorities said.

Bloomington and Peru detectives are asking the assistance from central Illinois residents who may have seen the vehicle or Jelani, or any else operating the vehicle in the area this week, especially between 7 a.m. Tuesday and 4:20 p.m. Thursday.

"We have no specific details that would lead us to believe that foul play is suspected at this time," said Bloomington Police spokesperson Officer John Fermon. "At this point, Jelani is still just a missing person who we hope to locate soon. ... Of course, with time and information/possible evidence, that can change but at this point he is a missing person."

ISU Police Chief Aaron Woodruff said he had not seen any evidence of foul play while Day was "on campus after reviewing extensive video footage from what we believe was the last time he was on campus."

“We continue to assist Bloomington Police in the investigation,” said Woodruff. “We strongly urge anyone with information to contact Bloomington PD.”

Day is a graduate student in ISU’s speech pathology program. He has family in Danville.

“Jelani is such a sweet and respectful man,” said Communications Sciences and Disorders Director of Clinical Experiences Cara Boester. “The cohort and the entire CSD family are concerned and want to see him safe.”

Those with information should contact Bloomington Police Detective Paul Jones at (309) 434-2548 or at Pjones@cityblm.org.

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Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.
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