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Authorities have confirmed a body pulled out of the Illinois River is missing Illinois State University graduate student Jelani "JJ" Day.

The body was discovered floating near the south bank of the Illinois River on September 4, according to authorities.

The body was bloated and his features unrecognizable after being submerged in the water for days.

Jelani's Chrysler 300 was found abandoned in a wooded area, near where the body was recovered.

The family was notified about the body, but police said identification of the remains could take weeks. A backlog of DNA cases delayed the identification process, police said.

The LaSalle County coroner's office made the positive identification through forensic dental records and DNA on Friday, September 17 and announced their findings on Thursday, Sept. 23.

Jelani's cause of death was tentatively ruled a suicide, since the body was recovered near the Illinois Rt. 251 Bridge.

Jelani, who was studying to be a speech pathologist, was last seen on surveillance video at a Bloomington marijuana dispensary on the morning of August 24.

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Bloomington PD

The clothing Jelani wore outside the cannabis store were found neatly folded in his car.

His wallet was discarded about three blocks away from where his car was located, authorities say.

The Day family is heartbroken and demanding answers about how the investigation was conducted.

Jelani's mom, Carmen Bolden Day said it was not like her son to go missing intentionally without telling anyone his whereabouts.

She doesn't accept the tentative ruling of suicide as a cause of death.

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"He wasn't depressed. He didn't have any kind of pressures that would make him want to escape from life," she said. "So I do feel as if there was someone involved."

"His dad actually has cancer and Jelani is the bone marrow match for his dad, and he would never abandon his father like that," she told ABC7 Eyewitness News Wednesday. "He would come here in Chicago and visit him at Northwestern hospital, sit with him, you know, encourage him, pray with him."

Day recalled the last phone conversation she had with her son.

"He said, 'OK momma, I just wanted to hear your voice.' And that's what he did. He said that to me all the time," she told Newsy. "He told me he was going to class and that he would call me later. He called me later on that night. (He) didn't want nothing, we were just talking. And he said again, 'OK momma, I'll talk to you later. I just wanted to hear your voice.' And that was our last conversation, on Monday the 23rd."

Day's family wrote Thursday on Facebook: "Our hearts are broken. We ask that you continue to pray for our family during what will be very hard days ahead.

"At this moment there are more questions than answers surrounding Jelani's disappearance and death, and that is where we will focus our energy. As of this moment, we do not know what happened to Jelani and we will not stop until we do."

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Atlanta police held a private chat with a few select journalists to update them on the Piedmont Park murder case on Thursday.

According to CBS46 reporter Hayley Mason, Atlanta police dropped hints that someone close to Katherine Janness may be her killer.

"Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant tells me no one has been ruled out as a suspect in the Piedmont Park murder case. He says the case is still wide open and active. The department has faced challenges accessing video from park cameras and is still working to recover images."


 
READ ALSO: 911 Audio Casts Suspicion on Katherine Janness's girlfriend
 
More details have emerged since the 40-year-old bartender was brutally stabbed while walking her dog, Bowie, in Piedmont Park on July 28.

Police confirmed rumors that a slur was carved into Janness' body and her head was nearly severed during the attack.

Audio of the 911 call placed by Janness' partner, Emma Clark, cast suspicion on her.

Twitter users noted how "calm" Clark sounded during the phone call.

Clark told a bystander, "Did you just see that? That's my f***ing girlfriend."

A GoFundMe account raised more than $70,000 for Clark who has since left Atlanta.

PETA offered $10,000 for information leading to the killer(s), in addition to the $10,000 already offered by the Atlanta Police Department.

The Atlanta City Council approved new cameras in parks following the murder. The investigation is hampered by the lack of functioning cameras in the park that night.
 

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Minnesota police say an officer-involved shooting that killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop was an "accidental discharge."

Wright, 20, was shot by a female officer who mistook her service weapon for a taser.

Wright was shot during a traffic stop on Sunday, April 11. He got back into his vehicle then crashed the car several blocks away. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators reviewed the body cam video of the "senior officer" who fired her weapon instead of a taser.

KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

The video footage shows three officers stopping the car. A background check revealed an outstanding warrant. A struggle ensued when an officer attempted to handcuff Wright.

The officer is heard shouting "Taser!" several times before firing her weapon.

"This was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright," said Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Police Chief Tim Gannon.

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Wright's death sparked protests and riots at the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Sunday.

Brooklyn Center is located on the northwest border of Minneapolis, where the trial for the first officer involved in George Floyd's death is underway.

The State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Wright's shooting.
 

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An independent autopsy ordered by Quawan Charles' family confirmed a preliminary autopsy report that his cause of death was drowning.

Quawan, 15, disappeared from his father's home in Baldwin, Louisiana on October 30. His bloated body was found 4 days later in a sugar cane field.

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The initial autopsy conducted by the coroner's office in Iberia Parish, LA. found water in the boy's lungs and determined the cause of death was drowning.

American forensics, the agency that performed the second autopsy, also say that the initial autopsy was thorough, according to TMZ. The second autopsy mentions no sign of trauma or natural disease, and that the body was "undergoing decompositional changes upon arrival."

But Quawan's family and friends refused to accept the findings of the preliminary autopsy report.

They believed he was murdered, citing a grisly photo circulating online that showed facial mutilation similar to the damage caused by small animals or marine life nibbling on his face after death.

The family's attorney tells TMZ he's troubled by the Sheriff's Office's slow response in finding Quawan -- noting it took them a total of 4 days just to ping his phone on Nov. 2, which led them to his body the next day.

A final report is pending toxicology results.

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New details have emerged in the mysterious death of a Louisiana teenager. The family of Quawan "Bobby" Charles tells KATC they were told by investigators that Bobby drowned, but the family is skeptical.

Bobby was reported missing from his home in Baldwin on Oct. 30 and his body was found in a sugarcane field 30 miles away on Nov. 3.

Bobby's parents said he was last seen alive around 4 p.m. He had moved in with his father only two weeks prior to his disappearance.

The father, who is separated from Bobby's mother, told police he went to the store at 4 p.m., and upon returning home a few minutes later he knocked on Bobby's locked bedroom door but there was no response.

He said he used a tool to force the bedroom door open and discovered the boy was gone.

Friends say Bobby left home with a 17-year-old friend and his mother. But Bobby's father said his son did not have any friends.

Family members and activists believe Bobby was murdered. They cite a grisly photo of his body circulating online.

The body shows evidence of facial mutilation similar to the damage caused by nibbling marine life when a body is submerged in water.

The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation.

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The police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin led to protests and civil unrest in that city over the weekend.

Jacob Blake, 29, was shot by a police officer in front of his family on Sunday. Cellphone video of the shooting sparked outrage on social media.

The video shows Blake walking away from two white police officers who have their guns drawn. Blake ignored repeated demands from them to stop.

He was shot multiple times in the back when he opened the driver side door of his SUV and leaned inside while an officer grabbed his t-shirt.

Blake's three minor children were reportedly in the back seat of the vehicle when he was shot.

He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he is listed in serious condition while recovering from surgery.

Luke Reitruoc, the cop who shot Blake, is a former hospital security guard who was recently hired by the Kenosha Police Department. He has been placed on administrative leave.

Several videos uploaded to social media showed the aftermath of the shooting, as demonstrators faced off against police officers around midnight. One cop was hit in the head with a brick. His condition is unknown.

The city of Kenosha issued a curfew until 7 a.m. as news crews captured footage of small groups of people breaking store front windows and setting fires to vehicles.

The governor said the courthouse would be closed because of extensive damage.

Gov. Tony Evers tweeted that he stood "against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites."

Evers tweeted, "While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country."


 

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Police will investigate the death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man, who was found hanging from a tree in Southern California early Friday.

Fuller was found hanging in a park in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square around 3:39 a.m.

Authorities initially believed Fuller committed suicide. The body showed no signs of a struggle and the scene was undisturbed, which would have indicated others hoisted his body into the tree.

But Fuller’s sister, Diamond Alexander insisted her brother was not suicidal.

Sheriff's Captain Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives are now investigating the circumstances leading to his death to determine if foul play was involved.

The news comes after police confirmed a second Black man was found hanging from a tree on May 31 in Victorville - about 45 miles east of Palmdale.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said foul play was not suspected in Harsch's death.

Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree near the Victorville City Library.

On Saturday, hundreds of protesters gathered under the tree where Fuller's body was found.

After placing a memorial with balloons and flowers, the crowd marched from the park to the sheriff's station. Many carried signs that read "Justice for Robert Fuller."

More than 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into Fuller's death.