The family of a man who was found dead under questionable circumstances after going missing in Illinois said they “suspect foul play” and broke their silence in a desperate effort to get answers about his death.
Jelani Day‘s mother on Tuesday posted a statement on her Facebook page attributed to her children that addresses the conflicting reports about her son, including how his body was allegedly found missing some of his vital organs as well as his jaw, which was reportedly “sawed out.”
It had previously been reported that Hallie M. Bezner, an attorney for Day’s mother, said local police treated the grieving mother disrespectfully when they called her with the “good news” last month that they were identifying her son’s body. Citing Day’s mother and Bezner, the Chicago Sun-Times also reported that the “family’s private forensic pathologist” didn’t find a brain, liver or spleen, among other organs, in Day’s body during a second autopsy.
Now, the family has ordered a third autopsy to find out “who murdered our brother.”
The statement from Carmen Boden Day’s children came one day after their mother said in a different Facebook post that “no organs were missing” from her son’s body. She referenced “contradicting facts from the first preliminary autopsy compared to the second independent autopsy” and stated that she was not aware of this being “a case of organ harvesting.”
The statement on Tuesday from Carmen Boden Day‘s children slightly contradicted what their mother said on Monday and made sure to emphasize, “WE ARE NOT taking organ harvesting off the table but still our mothers [sic] wishes are not to make organ harvesting the main focus.”
They addressed the discrepancy regarding Day’s organs:
Per the second autopsy, the Pathologist didn’t have all the body parts/organs for the body they identified as our brother Jelani Day. Also According to the second autopsy the pathologist was confused as to why the first pathologist did what he did to our brothers body to perform the autopsy itself. Furthermore, the second pathologist was confused as to why he didn’t have the whole body and we are under the impression that the state lab still has body parts in their possession. Also there are major organs that are damaged or in their words “mush & liquefied”.
They also explained that a funeral for Day has been delayed because of this uncertainty and “numerous amounts of conflicting information from the 1st and 2nd autopsy.”
LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch said on Tuesday that Day’s cause of death had still not yet been determined. Ploch, who denied organs were missing, shifted the burden to police and called on them “to help with the big piece on how he came to be in the water,” according to NBC Chicago.
Like their mother, the children said local authorities have failed the family and called for federal law enforcement officials to get involved.
“Due to the distrust this is why we suspect foul play of the La Salle county coroner, La Salle sheriff office, La Salle PD, Peru PD and Bloomington PD,” the statement said. “For these reasons this is why we want/need the FBI Involved as well.”
Read their full statement below.
Day, a 25-year-old Illinois State University graduate student, wasn’t found off the south bank of the Illinois River until 10 days after he was first reported missing on Aug. 25, and nine days after his car was found in a wooded area in the town of Peru.
It wasn’t until weeks later, and nearly a month since he was reported missing, that Day’s body could actually be identified by the LaSalle County Coroner’s Office. Day’s mother had been all but begging the media to pay her son’s story the same attention that it had paid to Gabby Petito, and she’d been concerned that the authorities had been dragging their feet investigating her son’s disappearance.
Even after Day’s body had been identified, Bolden was not immediately allowed to view the body.
Bolden Day recalled being on the phone with Bezner on Sept. 22 when the unidentified coroner called her on the other line to give her the “good news” that her son’s body was soon to be identified.
After she naturally had more questions concerning the coroner’s office’s process and why it took so long for her son to be identified, the coroner reportedly got frustrated and was egregiously rude in asking her, “Do you want us to identify your son or not?”
Bezner said she was on the line at the time and she rightfully told the coroner he had “no f**king right” to speak to Bolden that way.
A day later, the coroner’s office announced Day had finally been identified, but Bolden said she was informed she would still have to wait to view the body, which was waterlogged to the point where it was missing Day’s eyeballs.
Bezner said the LaSalle County coroner had explained that the organs were missing because they “completely liquefied.”
“I’m really trying to ask questions and not go down the path of a lot of conspiracy because I think it’s easy to go that way,” Bezner said.
On Sept. 29, Day’s family had gathered at the funeral home where Bolden was finally able to view her son’s body, but her attorney advised against it since he was in such “bad shape.” In the end, Day’s grandmother and one of his brothers were the only ones in the family to see his body. Bolden still isn’t absolutely sure it was her son who was lying in the closed casket, according to the Sun-Times.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear how Day ended up in the river in the first place as the FBI continues to investigate Petito’s murder.
This is America.
Rest In Power: Notable Black Folks Who We've Lost In 2021
1. Lee Elder, professional golfer, 87Source:Getty 1 of 86
2. Antwain Fowler, internet celebrity, 6Source:iOne Digital 2 of 86
3. Young Dolph, rapper, 36Source:Getty 3 of 86
4. W. Sterling Cary, first African American to lead National Council of Churches, 94
4 of 86
W. Sterling Cary, a minister who became the first African American to lead the National Council of Churches and who used his pulpit for decades in pursuit of racial and social justice, died Nov. 14 at his home in Flossmoor, Ill. He was 94.😢 pic.twitter.com/YemV7hkFA6— Sumner (@diamondlass99) November 18, 2021
5. Alpo Martinez, infamous former drug dealer, 55Source:Twitter 5 of 86
6. Ronnie Wilson, Gap Band co-founder, 73Source:Getty 6 of 86
7. Jovita Moore, broadcast TV news anchor, 53Source:Getty 7 of 86
8. Agnes Tirop, Olympic long distance runner, 25Source:Getty 8 of 86
9. Melvin van Peebles, filmmaker and movie director, 89Source:Getty 9 of 86
10. Anthony "A.J." Johnson, comedian and actor, 56Source:Instagram.com/therealajjohnson 10 of 86
11. Michael K. Williams, actor, 54Source:Getty 11 of 86
12. Carl Bean, gay preacher, 77
12 of 86
🧵More sad news fam...HIV/AIDS activist Archbishop Carl Bean, the founder of Minority AIDS Project and Unity Fellowship Church--often nicknamed the Black gay church for being the country's 1st Black church affirming of the #LGBTQ community has transitioned and is now an ancestor. pic.twitter.com/r5bOBhyPtj— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) September 7, 2021
13. Jacob Desvarieux, guitarist, 65Source:Getty 13 of 86
14. Fuquan Johnson, comedian, 42Source:Getty 14 of 86
15. Greg Leaks, tv personality, 66Source:Getty 15 of 86
16. Hissène Habré, former president of Chad, 79Source:Getty 16 of 86
17. Chucky Thompson, music producer, 53Source:Getty 17 of 86
18. Steve "Zumbi" Gaines, rapper, 49Source:Getty 18 of 86
19. Cameron Burrell, track star and Carl Lewis' godson, 26Source:Getty 19 of 86
20. Paul Johnson, house music DJ, 5020 of 86
21. Bob Moses, civil rights leader, 86Source:Getty 21 of 86
22. Rachael Oniga, Nollywood actress, 64
22 of 86
Nigeria has lost an absolute veteran & iconic actress - RIP Rachel Oniga 💔💔🥺 pic.twitter.com/zD3VhRQpyK— ✨👑 DaddyMO👑✨🏁 (@therealdaddymo1) July 31, 2021
23. Glen Ford, veteran journalist and Black Agenda Report founder, 71Source:LinkedIn 23 of 86
24. Gloria Richardson, civil rights pioneer, 99Source:Getty 24 of 86
25. Biz Markie, hip-hop legend, 57Source:Getty 25 of 86
26. Charlie Robinson, actor, 75Source:Getty 26 of 86
27. Matima "Swavy" Miller, social media star, 19Source:GoFundMe 27 of 86
28. Suzzanne Douglas, actress, 64Source:Getty 28 of 86
29. Abdalelah Haroun, track and field star, 24Source:Getty 29 of 86
30. Consuewella Dotson Africa, MOVE leader, 67
30 of 86
Heartbroken to learn that Consuewella Africa passed away today. She was arrested on Aug 8, 1978 w/ the MOVE 9 + spent 16 yrs in prison. May 13th, 1985, her daughters Netta and Tree were murdered. 2 mos ago, we learned Penn Museum held hostage Tree's remains. And now she is gone pic.twitter.com/nZSW7Yu2yE— Krystal Strong (@misskstrong) June 16, 2021
31. Martha White, civil rights activist, 99Source:Twitter 31 of 86
32. Sanyika Shakur ("Monster" Kody Scott), street gang leader-turned-motivational speaker, 5732 of 86
33. Clarence Williams III, actor, 81Source:Getty 33 of 86
34. Samuel Wright, actor, 74Source:Getty 34 of 86
35. Chi Modu, photographer, 54Source:Getty 35 of 86
36. Paul Mooney, comedian, writer, 79Source:Getty 36 of 86
37. Lee Evans, Olympic champion, 74Source:Getty 37 of 86
38. Frank McRae, actor and former NFL player, 80Source:Getty 38 of 86
39. Eugene Webb, NYC real estate broker, 102Source:Getty 39 of 86
40. Pervis Staples, singer, 85Source:Getty 40 of 86
41. Curtis Fuller, legendary jazz trombonist, 88Source:Getty 41 of 86
42. Henrietta Turnquest, pioneering Black woman politician, 73
42 of 86
MARTA is saddened by the passing of Henrietta Turnquest, who was appointed to the MARTA Board in 2003, the first African American woman to be appointed and serve on the MARTA Board of Directors. https://t.co/nTGaNeRfIk pic.twitter.com/CFdMRiFT9h— MARTA (@MARTAservice) May 4, 2021
43. Shock G, rapper-producer, 57Source:Getty 43 of 86
44. Antron Pippen, 33
44 of 86
45. Black Rob, rapper, 51Source:Getty 45 of 86
46. Gerren Taylor, model, 30Source:WENN 46 of 86
47. DMX, rapper, actor, 50Source:Getty 47 of 86
48. Midwin Charles, attorney, 47Source:Getty 48 of 86
49. Alcee Hastings, congressman, 84Source:Getty 49 of 86
50. Alvin Sykes, civil rights activist, 64Source:Kansas City Public Library 50 of 86
51. Sarah Obama, paternal step-grandmother of Barack Obama, 99Source:Getty 51 of 86
52. Craig "muMs" Grant, poet-actorSource:Getty 52 of 86
53. Elgin Baylor, NBA legend, 86Source:Getty 53 of 86
54. Yaphet Kotto, actor, 8154 of 86
55. Reggie Warren, singer, 52Source:Getty 55 of 86
56. Jo Thompson, muscian-singer, 92
56 of 86
Jo Thompson broke racial barriers during the decades she played the piano and sang to audiences from Detroit’s top supper clubs to ones in Cuba, New York, London and Paris during the 1950s. https://t.co/9GGN8Njdx4— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) March 11, 2021
57. Paul H. Brock, journalist, 89
57 of 86
Today we are mourning the passing of @NABJ Founding Executive Director Paul H. Brock. “Founder Brock played such an integral role in the success of NABJ,” said @Dorothy4NABJ. Read more about Founder Brock and his legacy by clicking here: https://t.co/NFYmKLa9nc pic.twitter.com/BxluBXKPGy— #NABJ Headquarters (@NABJ) March 14, 2021
58. "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, boxing legend, 66Source:Getty 58 of 86
59. Robert Ashby, military hero, 95Source:Getty 59 of 86
60. Obe Noir, rapper-activist, 31Source:Instagram 60 of 86
61. Marshall Latimore, journalist, 36Source:The Atlanta Voice 61 of 86
62. Lawrence Otis Graham, author, 59Source:Getty 62 of 86
63. Jahmil French, actor, 28Source:Getty 63 of 86
64. Bunny Wailer, reggae icon, 73Source:Getty 64 of 86
65. Irv Cross, legendary broadcaster, 81Source:Getty 65 of 86
66. Shelia Washington, founder, Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, 61Source:William H. Hampton 66 of 86
67. Antoine Hodge, opera singer, 38Source:GoFundMe 67 of 86
68. Douglas Turner Ward, actor, Negro Ensemble Company co-founder, 90Source:WENN 68 of 86
69. Prince Markie Dee, rapper, 52Source:Getty 69 of 86
70. Vincent Jackson, former NFL star, 38Source:Getty 70 of 86
71. Danny Ray, MC who put cape on James Brown, 85Source:Getty 71 of 86
72. Frederick K.C. Price, evangelist, 89
72 of 86
"They know if we ever let these Black people get equality that they will take over they will be on top of everything" - Frederick K. C. Price pic.twitter.com/NYI11QgTEz— The Black Detour (@theblackdetour) February 12, 2021
73. Terez Paylor, sports journalist, 37Source:facebook 73 of 86
74. Mary Wilson, co-founder of The Supremes, 76Source:Getty 74 of 86
75. Karen Lewis, former Chicago Teachers Union president, 67Source:Getty 75 of 86
76. Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champion, 67Source:Getty 76 of 86
77. Dianne Durham, gymnast, 52Source:Getty 77 of 86
78. John Chaney, college basketball coaching legend, 89Source:Getty 78 of 86
79. Cicely Tyson, actresss, 96Source:Getty 79 of 86
80. Hank Aaron, MLB icon, 86Source:Getty 80 of 86
81. Duranice Pace, gospel singer, 62Source:Getty 81 of 86
82. Tim Lester, NFL star, 52Source:Getty 82 of 86
83. Bryan Monroe, former NABJ president, 55Source:Getty 83 of 86
84. Meredith C. Anding Jr., civil rights icon, 79
84 of 86
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Meredith Anding Jr., one of the Tougaloo College students who attempted to integrate the Jackson Municipal Library in 1961. Thank you for taking a stand for Freedom! Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anding family. pic.twitter.com/HC1tURbUd2— Medgar&MyrlieEversInstitute (@MMEI63) January 12, 2021
85. Eric Jerome Dickey, best-selling author, 59Source:Getty 85 of 86
86. Floyd Little, football legend, 78Source:Getty 86 of 86
Jelani Day’s Family Orders 3rd Autopsy Amid Reports Of Missing Organs: ‘We Suspect Foul Play’ was originally published on newsone.com