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Celebration Of Life Held For Jelani Day

Day was last seen Aug. 24 in Bloomington, Illinois. His body was found in the Illinois River more than 60 miles away.
Posted at 10:49 AM, Oct 11, 2021

With many questions unanswered, Jelani Day's family, friends, classmates and community gathered to honor his life.   

"We cannot replace brother Day, but we can show how big his love is for you." 

The service packed out the auditorium at Danville High School, where Day graduated before going to Alabama A&M University and Illinois State for grad school. 

For this small Illinois community, the grief over Day's mysterious death spread far and wide.   

"We get so much negative feedback. African American young men. This was a young African American man that was moving. He had a bright future. And it's devastating that it was taken away from him. So as a community, it broke us." 

The future speech pathologist touched so many lives here, and many of those people offered their condolences, including the old classmate who inspired his career path. 

"Jelani told my parents he wanted to become a speech therapist because of me."

But hanging over the service are questions — and a community calling for answers. 

"We pray the diagnosis of injustice will be heard loud and clear and we who remain will continue to fight in your name. And we who remain will continue to fight in your name!” 

Day was last seen Aug 24 in Bloomington, Illinois.

His body, found in the Illinois River more than 60 miles away, was identified by authorities a month later.  

The six different local agencies investigating his death have not publicly identified a suspect or any new leads.  

"Don't leave them today. That's what I want everybody to know. Don't leave Carmen and her family today. Because the real issue starts today. The real issue starts today. They need your love, they need your support. So continue to support Carmen and her family. That's the most important thing you can do." 

Jelani Day's family is calling for federal authorities to take over the investigation.