With all the media attention focusing on a missing white woman, Gabby Petito, the disappearance of a Black graduate student hasn’t garnered the same type of attention that’s needed to find the 25-year-old man, his family claims.
Although Jelani Day was reported missing on Aug. 24, the call to get the news out has fallen short, says his mother, Carmen Bolden Day, according to WGLT.
The mother of the missing Illinois State University student says finding her son has come to a standstill since police uncovered an unidentified body on Sept. 4.
“Since they found that unidentified body, it doesn’t seem to me that they are pushing to continue to look for my son,” Bolden Day said of authorities.
“I understand that there are other crimes that they have to investigate, but it seems like I only have this one detective, and I understand he has a life outside of his work. But once he stops, does that mean we stop looking for my son?”
According to People, the family of Day, a graduate student, has been pleading with the public and Illinois police for any information that will lead to finding out what happened to Jelani.
— Nicole Lynn (@AgentNicoleLynn) September 21, 2021
Day, a graduate student at Illinois State University, hasn’t been seen since Aug. 24. The Bloomington Police Department issued a press release regarding the missing Black man who was reported missing after not showing up to class for several days.
“The Bloomington Police Department continues to investigate the circumstances behind missing person
Jelani Day. BPD has obtained a new video of Day from a surveillance camera. The surveillance camera footage, shows Day entering a retail store called Beyond / Hello in Bloomington, IL (1515 N. Veterans Pkwy) on Tuesday, 8/24/2021, at 9:12 a.m. Day appears to be wearing a blue Detroit Lions baseball hat, a black tee shirt with a unique graphic (Jimi “Hendrix” band shirt), white/silver shorts, and black shoes with white soles. The exterior surveillance video also shows Day’s white Chrysler 300 in the parking lot of the business.”
This is my little brother. He been missing for 3 weeks as of today now. Please help me and my family find him, one retweet can make a huge difference. I love him so much #FindJelaniDay I’m never giving up pic.twitter.com/TrIDCG4Bph
— BALANCE (@SeveAkaSwave) September 15, 2021
Bolden Day, however, feels like there is a “lack of enthusiasm” around her son’s case and disappearance.
“I don’t have anything. They’re not telling me anything,” she said of the authorities.
“I don’t know, maybe if it was their child, there would be an urgency on this. They would still be looking.”
Bolden Day compared her son’s disappearance to that of Petito’s, who, along with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, set out on a cross-country trip in July, but it ended on Aug. 12 after police in Moab, Utah, responded to a report of a “domestic problem” between the couple, News One reports. The two reportedly had “some sort of argument” that turned physical. When cops arrived, no arrests were made, and instead, the two were separated, with cops even putting Laundrie into a hotel.
Petito’s body was found on Sept.19. And although Bolden Day sympathizes with Petito’s family, she wants the same level of sympathy that the media and authorities applied to that case.
“But do you not see us? Do you not see me? Do you not see my son?”
“He is loved,” Bolden Day said. “He is wanted. He is important.”