Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Digital Evidence Being Investigated in Search for Missing ISU Student

September 8, 2021

India Afriyie of reports that an Illinois State University (ISU) student was reported as missing on August 25. ISU student Jelani Day’s car was found a few days after he was reported missing in a wooded area south of the Illinois Valley YMCA. Police are continuing the search for Day but have indicated that digital evidence is a key part of their investigation.

John Fermon of the Bloomington Police is quoted: “A lot of what we’re doing is through digital evidence it’s kind of behind the scenes.” He continued “Our best bet in locating people and finding out where they’ve been the last few days is just looking at digital evidence.” Fermon is most likely talking about an electronic device’s capabilities to store location information.

Location data can be a critical factor in determining where a device has been and even what type of activity has been performed on a device such as a smart phone. Locations can be shared with other people on smart phones, such as an Apple iPhone. It can also be found in photographs, videos and other applications where location data is enabled on the phone. Other digital evidence such as phone call records and cell tower data could also be part of the investigation.

Police did find a body on Saturday morning, but the body has yet to be identified. The police will continue their search for Day and are awaiting a positive identification on the discovered body before any information is released.

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