Bill passed to amend Missing Persons Identification Act to more quickly involve FBI in cases of unidentifiable human remains
CHICAGO – February 28, 2022 – Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr today congratulated and thanked the Illinois State Senate for officially passing the Jelani Day Bill. The bill requires a medical examiner or coroner to notify the FBI within 72 hours of discovery when human remains cannot be identified.
Day was an Illinois State University graduate student when he went missing in August 2021. His remains were identified weeks after he disappeared when his body was found in the Illinois River, near the town of Peru.
Originally introduced by 17th District Illinois State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) following Day’s death, the bill is now on its way to the House. If it passes there, smaller Illinois counties and municipalities will have the necessary resources for the identification of individuals when they go missing.
“We are thrilled that the Illinois Senate acted swiftly to get this bill passed. We anticipate the bill passing in the House and the day it is enacted into law,” said LaMarr, who is co-counsel for Day’s family.
LaMarr explained the significance of the legislation, “The FBI plays a critical role in missing person cases in the United States. It is essential for law enforcement to be involved from the very beginning. Dedicated participation without any delay is essential in solving these cases and is a great deterrent to others who considered perpetrating these sorts of crimes. The passing of the Jelani Day Bill is definitely a step in the right direction. We are undaunted and will be persistent in advocating for similar, ratified legislation in states all across the country.”
Current Illinois law has required coroners or medical examiners to contact Illinois State Police or higher authorities only if they were not able to identify remains after 24 hours.