CHICAGO (CBS) — People are searching for answers after the mysterious death of Illinois State University grad student Jelani Day.

His mother, Carmen Bolden Day, joined Reverend Jesse Jackson at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters with noted civil rights attorney Ben Crump. They are demanding a federal hate crime investigation into what led up to Jelani’s death.

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Day believes her son was murdered, although his death was ruled a drowning. She said police suggested it was suicide.

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“Jelani was important. Jelani is missed. I wake up every day. I’ve been dealing with the fact that I can’t talk to my son,” said Carmen Bolden Day.

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She also criticized police in Peru, Illinois saying they didn’t do enough to help find her son, who is Black, and she compared the lack of response to the massive search to find Gabby Petito, a young white woman.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff