Update: The Murder of Damari Perry

Damari Perry, let down by the system and murdered by his own family

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.

Breaking News: The Tragic Death of Damari Perry

Damari Perry, whose family has been charged in connection with his homicide, and the location where his body was found.
The photo on the far right appears to show Damari with tear emojis added to his face and posed against a crack in the wall.
(Date unknown)


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.

In Their Own Words: The Delphi Murders, Quote 2

“I was like there -there’s nothing wrong. There has to be nothing wrong. It’s just Grandma overreacting like always. Then, me and Cody crossed the bridge and we’re looking in the woods, and we couldn’t find them anywhere. That’s when I started to realize something was really wrong. I was yelling her name so that she could hear me, and I hope she did hear us searching.”

– Kelsi German, who was only 17 at the time she was participating in the search for her missing sister

In Their Own Words: The Delphi Murders

“This intersection is tough for me. It will always be tough for me. I can close my eyes, and I can just see them. You know, I can see they came from the left side over here…and laughing and joking and cutting up like two young girls do, probably. And then they turn left and their world’s about to change.”

– ISP Superintendent Doug Carter, referring to the bridge trail

Deep Dive: The Delphi Murders, Part 2

Libby German and Abby Williams, two friends whose lives were sadistically cut short in 2017.

In 2017, the Monon High Bridge Trail was much more inconspicuous than it is today. Mention the bridge or its namesake pedestrian trail to anyone now – especially anyone in Indiana – and the terrible murders of two young girls immediately leap to mind. But before someone lured Abby Williams and Libby German there to their deaths, making the area infamous, it was one of the state’s many hidden gems, appreciated by the local cognoscenti while simultaneously unknown to the outside world.

Built in the 1890s as a part of the Monon Rail Line spanning Deer Creek, the trestle bridge technically belonged to CSX Transportation at the time. However, in all practicality, it’d stood abandoned since the 1980s. The intervening years had seen the decaying bridge fall into disrepair and become dangerous to cross. By 2017, High Bridge had been pretty much forgotten by everyone except the surrounding community, for whom it remained both a source of worry and a popular hiking attraction. Posting pictures from atop the crumbling, 60-ft-tall bridge had become a social media rite of passage for the more-adventurous local teens and photographers.

Both Libby and Abby were into photography, and it seemed only natural they would be interested in joining the many other liberated students roaming the trails that day. Besides, there was safety in numbers and the girls were together, so it would’ve been perfectly understandable if no one had realized anything was wrong when the duo failed to turn up for the ride home. However, one of the most painful details about this entire case is just how quickly people did realize something had gone very, very wrong with Abby and Libby, yet still couldn’t save them.

When he’d initially agreed to be the girls’ return driver, Derrick had explained that he needed to finish his current task first and wouldn’t be available until sometime between 3 and 3:30. He’d arranged to shoot Libby a text when he was on his way though, so the girls would know when to return to the trailhead. True to his word, phone records indicate Derrick started texting at 3:11. When he didn’t receive a reply, he tried calling but received no answer. It wasn’t like his daughter to just ignore him, and Derrick began to worry, thinking perhaps the girls were hurt or lost. He parked his car and almost immediately started walking the trails in an attempt to find them.

Around five minutes later, Derrick encountered “an older man” coming from the 501 trail. Little information has been publicly released about this person, other than he was wearing a flannel shirt that day and has since been interviewed extensively by police. Derrick reportedly asked the older man in the flannel shirt if he’d seen the girls down on the trail; the man denied it but said that there were “a couple” under the bridge. Because this older man indicated the girls weren’t on the 501, Derrick headed down the trail known as the 505. There was still no sign of either Abby or Libby.

At that point, the concerned father began enlisting the help of other family members. He called his mother Becky, who conferred with her own sister, Tara. Both women tried unsuccessfully to reach Libby for more than half an hour before Tara left to join Derrick in his search. Meanwhile, Becky was faced with the unfortunate task of telling her husband, Mike, and Libby’s sister Kelsi that the girls couldn’t be found.

The family continued searching the woods for the girls on their own before calling police at 5:20 pm.

By then, the girls had been missing for just over two hours.


My apologies for the lateness of this entry. The entire purpose of this site is to help inform people of these crimes, and even one wrong word could result in the spread of misinformation. In the attempt to triple-check all known facts, posts sometimes take longer than anticipated. However, I feel I owe it to the victims and their families to be thorough. Please join me tomorrow for the next installment in this series.

Deep Dive: The Delphi Murders, Part 1

The Monon High Bridge, the abandoned railroad trestle where Libby captured photos, video, and audio files on her phone just before she and Abby went missing.

It sounds like fiction.

Little is known about exactly what happened that day on the Monon High Bridge, but the few facts we do know are so incredible and disturbing that you could almost be forgiven for thinking this case couldn’t possibly be real. Sadly, the beginning is pure Grimm’s fairy tale: Two girls walking alone in the woods encounter a wolf in human’s clothing. The middle is more of a dystopian techno-thriller: Realizing they’re in trouble, one of the doomed heroines uses her phone to capture clues vital to solving her own murder.

But what happened that day to Libby and Abby is tragically real, and the end of their story hasn’t been written yet.

February 13, 2017: Friends Liberty “Libby” German (14) and Abigail “Abby” Williams (13) woke up late that morning after a sleepover at Libby’s house the previous night. Although the eighth graders would have normally been in school, all students in the Delphi Community School Corporation had that day off because both the previous Friday (February 10th) and Monday (February 13th) had been designated “Snow Make-Up Days” at the beginning of the academic year. However, since the winter had been mild and the allotted snow days hadn’t been used, the girls ended up with a four-day weekend instead.

And they were trying to make the most of it.

After spending Sunday practicing their softball swings, painting pictures in Libby’s room with Abby’s art supplies, and giggling late into the night, the girls were ready that next morning to start a new adventure. Libby, like many children, lived in a multigenerational household. Her home included her grandparents Mike and Becky Patty (who were also her legal guardians), father Derrick German, and older sister Kelsi. After Derrick made the girls breakfast, Libby asked her grandmother for permission to go to the Monon High Bridge Trail, a hiking spot just outside of Delphi’s city limits. Becky agreed but told the girls they would need to arrange a ride.

At first, it looked as if the girls would stuck at the house after all. Everyone in Libby’s busy family already had plans for the day. Then fate cruelly intervened.

When initially approached, Libby’s older sister Kelsi had refused the girls’ request, explaining that she was leaving to help her boyfriend clean a truck he hoped to sell before eventually heading to work. She already had a full day ahead of her and just didn’t have time to take the younger girls anywhere.

It was then, in a particularly heartbreaking twist, that Kelsi’s conscience got the better of her. The two sisters were close, and Kelsi felt guilty about letting Libby down. So she wound up relenting, telling her younger sibling that she could drop the girls off at the trails if they could arrange another ride home.

That decision must haunt Kelsi to this very day.

After securing the promise of a ride home from Libby’s dad, Derrick, the girls were on their way. Kelsi drove them to the Monon High Bridge, dropping them off near the trail’s entrance around 1:30 pm.

As she watched Libby and Abby walk away, talking between themselves, Kelsi had no way of knowing she would never see either girl alive again.


Please return for Part Two on Saturday. In the meantime, if you have any information pertaining to the murders of Libby German and Abby Williams- or the social media profile “anthony_shots” – please call the Delphi Homicide Investigation Tip Line (844-459-5786), the Indiana State Police (1-800-382-7537), or the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department (765-564-2413). You can also contact Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.