The mother of Damari Perry, a six-year-old whose body was recently discovered in Gary, appeared in court last Wednesday. Jannie M. Perry, of North Chicago, was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice. Her bond was set at $5 million.
Two of the child’s siblings have also been charged in connection with the crime. 20-year-old Jeremiah Perry has been charged with aggravated battery, concealing a homicide and obstruction of justice. An unidentified juvenile sibling also faces unspecified charges.
According to Lake County prosecutors, on December 29, 2021, Damari’s mother told relatives that he needed punished. The little boy was consequently forced into a cold shower for an extended period of time, after which he vomited and became unresponsive. His body was then wrapped in a trash bag, and thermal burns indicate someone attempted to burn him. Finally, Damari’s charred corpse was taken to Gary and left near an empty house before the family falsely reported him missing. An autopsy later determined his cause of death was hypothermia.
Perhaps most tragically, the responsibility for Damari’s death reaches far beyond those who stand accused. It has been revealed that Jannie Perry lost custody of her four other children due to allegations of domestic violence in 2014. Because the case remained open when Damari was born on December 30, 2015, he was placed into foster care at the time.
Perry regained custody of her children in 2017.