Listen to this article

OTTAWA — The LaSalle County coroner said Monday it will take several weeks for DNA tests to come back in the hopes of identifying the body of a male found near the Illinois River.

Several police, fire and rescue agencies conducted a search in the LaSalle-Peru area in an attempt to find Jelani “JJ” Day, 25, of Danville, who has been reported missing.

The search team found a body just off the south bank of the Illinois River, east of the Illinois 251 bridge.

During an autopsy, the body was found to be a male, but no positive identification could be made.

LaSalle County Coroner Rich Ploch said it will take some time before an identification can be made due to a backlog of DNA cases.

The Bloomington Police Department, which was one of the agencies involved in the search, is still seeking information on Day. Anyone with information regarding his disappearance is asked to contact Det. Paul Jones at 309-434-2548 or

Day was last seen on a video surveillance camera entering Beyond/Hello retail store in Bloomington on Aug. 24. Clothes he was last seen wearing were found in his white Chrysler 3000 two days later in a wooded area near Peru, one hour north of Bloomington.

After the car was discovered, a command post was established, and an extensive canine search was conducted by Illinois State Police.

Day is described as standing 6-foot-2, weighing 180 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Alabama A&M and is enrolled in the Communication, Science and Disorders Department at Illinois State, where he is in his first semester.

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at

Trending Videos