[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
The family of a 6-year-old Chicago boy are accused of killing him, a day after reporting him missing.
According to reports, FBI agents found the naked body of Damari Perry wrapped in a trash bag near an abandoned house in Indiana on Saturday. The body had been partially burned, while his internal organs were found to be partially frozen.
His cause of death was determined to be hypothermia in an autopsy report on Monday, with the coroner ruling it a homicide. A day later, police charged three people in connection with the young boy’s death: his own mother, 38-year-old Jannie Perry (above, left), and two of his siblings.
Jannie was the one who first reported the boy missing on January 5, along with his 20-year-old brother Jeremiah Perry (above, right). The pair claimed Damari’s 16-year-old sister had taken him to a party the previous night, and that they were driven there by a man and woman. The sister alleged that she had several drinks at the party and fell asleep, claiming that when she woke up, both the man and her little brother were gone.
However, prosecutors said that story is “completely false,” and alleged a much different version of events actually took place. In a court hearing on Sunday, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Doyle said the little boy “did something that the mother felt needed to be punished for,” and was put into a cold shower for an “extended period of time” the following day.
Doyle said the young boy vomited until he became unresponsive, and eventually died. However, no one in the family called 911 for medical assistance; instead, Damari’s mother and brother talked about what to do with the body, the prosecutor claimed, then ultimately decided to drive it to Indiana to dump and burn before coming up with the party story.
Per NBC Chicago, the Lake County Coroner’s Office found that Damari’s body was found with bruising on his legs, with an “extremely cold core temperature, and partially frozen internal organs.” The body also showed “postmortem thermal injury/charring”, revealing that someone had tried to burn the corpse.
The boy’s mother was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. His brother was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. A second underage sibling was cuffed for charges related to concealing the boy’s body. Their identity has not been released because of their age.
The mother was expected to appear in court on Sunday, but was taken to hospital in police custody instead after claiming she was sick. She was discharged back to court on Wednesday, where she was ordered held on a $5 million bond. Jeremiah is being held on a $3 million bond.
Lake County States Attorney Eric Rinehart said:
“Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry. We would not have reached the awful truth of this case without the work of the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Chicago Police Department, and the investigators and staff at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center. Now, because of their rigorous and detailed investigation, we will be able to secure justice for Damari in a courtroom.”
So incredibly devastating.
[Image via Lake County Sheriff’s Office]