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The mother of a missing Illinois graduate student is making a public plea for any information about her missing son, whose car was discovered concealed in the woods. He has been missing for over a week.
Jelani “J.J.” Day, 25, last spoke with members of his family on August 23, according to his mother. Since then, the Illinois State University graduate student has not been in touch with any family members and didn't attend any classes. Attempts to locate him were unsuccessful and he was soon reported as missing under unknown circumstances by his family and an ISU faculty member, according to the Bloomington Police Department.
“He just calls me and calls me, nonstop, several times a day,” Carmen Day told NBC’s “Dateline,” adding that because of the call frequency she refers to her son as her bill collector. “So to not hear from him in a week is very unlike him. Something’s not right...We love him and miss him. And if anyone out there has seen him or knows anything at all, please call the police. Call me. Call his siblings.”
Jelani Day has an apartment in Bloomington and is studying in the Communication, Science and Disorders Department at Illinois State University in Normal. ISU’s Director of Clinical Education Cara Boester told local station WEEK that she’d exchanged texts with Day on August 23 and they planned to meet the following morning. She contacted campus police when Day didn’t turn up for their meeting.
"That is not at all something our grad students would do," Boester said.
On August 26, the Peru Police Department discovered a vehicle concealed in a wooded area behind the local YMCA. Found inside were the blue Detroit Lions baseball hat, black Jimi Hendrix T-shirt, and white/silver shorts Day was seen wearing on security camera footage from a Beyond/Hello in Bloomington on August 24. He was also seen on security footage from ISU's Bone Student Center wearing a dress shirt and black pants, according to Peru police.
Authorities searching for Day have used extensive K9 search, drone aerial searches, and conducted a ground search. Teams from Peru, Utica, and Oglesby Fire Departments and the Illinois State Police have all been involved.
Anyone with information on Jelani Day’s case is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department at (309) 820-8888 or Detective Paul Jones at 309-434-2548 or Pjones@cityblm.org
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