A six-year-old child has been found dead, and his mothers and siblings have been charged in connection with the crime.
Damari Perry, of North Chicago, was initially reported missing just before 9 pm on Wednesday, Jan. 5, more than 24 hours after he had supposedly last been seen. According to the story his mother, Jannie Perry (38), told her local FOX affiliate, “He was out with his sister at a play date. She had a cocktail. I guess someone put something in her drink. She ended up falling asleep. When she woke up, my son was gone. When she questioned the girl about where my son was the girl said she didn’t know. When she came home, I reported him missing.”
Authorities called in the FBI, hoping to find Damari alive. Instead, in the early morning hours of January 8, they found his lifeless body across the state line, near an unoccupied house on Van Buren Street in Gary, Indiana. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart then released a statement saying the story the family told is “completely false.” The prosecutor additionally stated, “He (Damari) was placed into a cold shower for an extended period of time, held there by family members at the direction of the mother. At some point, he became unresponsive, vomited and died. Additional accusations have been made by relatives and neighbors that the child was punched and denied food.
Damari’s mother, Jannie, has been charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicide and obstruction of justice. She is due in court Monday.
Jeremiah Perry, his 20-year-old brother, is being held on $3 million bond. He has been charged with aggravated battery, concealing a homicide and obstruction of justice in his brother’s death. He was already on probation for a weapons violation at the time of his arrest.
A third family member, only identified as an underage sibling, is also facing charges in juvenile court.
The family’s other minor children are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services. DCFS has confirmed that they’ve had “prior contact” with the Perrys.