‘I’m Begging You’: Jelani Day’s Mom Pleads With FBI To Take Over Investigation Into Son’s Death

Carmen Bolden Day, the mother of Jelani Day, is calling on the FBI for answers into her son’s disappearance and mysterious death. The grieving mother, with the assistance of attorney Benjamin Crump, held a news conference this week with several of Day’s family members present.   

“I need the FBI to come in and take over because these local jurisdictions have shown us that they have not made us a priority,” Bolden Day said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “They have not made Jelani a priority.”

As Blavity previously reported, Day’s body was discovered on Sept. 23 after he’d been missing for almost a month. He was last seen alive on Aug. 24, and his mother filed a missing persons report the next day. His car, wallet, lanyard and personal ID was found an hour away from his home in Peru, Illinois. The LaSalle County Coroner Richard Ploch declared the cause of death as drowning, though the family and their attorney is sure that there’s more to the story.

Bolden Day doubled down on her sentiments that she “will never accept that that’s what happened to him” and the family is adamant that they are “very clear in our decision that this was not suicide.”

“I’m asking you,” she said in the conference, which was held at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters. “I’m imploring you. I’m begging you. I need to know what happened to my son.”

“I know I’m not the first mother who has lost a child, but when you lose a child and don’t know why, you don’t know what happened. … I don’t know how you cannot stop insisting that the people who have made pledges to protect and serve find the answers for you. I know that they are not magicians, but my son went missing,” Bolden Day shared, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Crump made the comparison between Day’s disappearance and Gabby Petito, noting the lengths federal authorities went in order to find the young travel influencer just days after she was reported missing. He tells the press that Day’s family is losing faith in local officials after seeing the lack of effort exerted on their behalf. 

“They didn’t make him a priority, but we will make him a priority,” Crump said. “We’re asking the FBI to make this young Black man, Jelani Day, a priority just like they made a young white woman, Gabby Petito, a priority.”

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