Damari Perry: Kin of boy, 6, gave him cold shower and dumped him in bag till he froze to death
Authorities said the youngster's body was found naked and wrapped in a plastic trash bag in an alley in Indiana
LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA: A six-year-old boy was found frozen to death in dangerously low temperatures in Indiana on Saturday morning, January 8. A medical coroner ruled on Tuesday, January 11, that the child was the victim of a homicide.
According to the Lake County Coroner's Office, a post mortem examination of Damari Perry conducted on Monday, January 10, found him to have an extremely cold core temperature and partially frozen organs. The coroner's office said they also found a scattered discoloration of the victim's skin on the right leg and postmortem thermal injury or charring over the body. Authorities said the youngster's body was found naked and wrapped in a trash bag in an alley.
Damari was reportedly forced into a cold shower by three of his family members as a form of punishment. He vomited and passed out in the shower, before they allegedly dumped his body near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana. Damari's mother Jannie Perry, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder. Meanwhile, two of his siblings are also facing charges for their alleged involvement.
The Lake County, Illinois, State’s Attorney said that police initially learned that the boy was missing, but investigators eventually reached Damari’s home "after the family’s story was contradicted." The six-year-old was reported missing on January 5 by his mother Jannie and his older brother Jeremiah R Perry, 20, who told authorities he may have disappeared in Skokie, Illinois, where he and his 16-year-old sister were driven to a party, NBC Chicago reported.
During interrogation, the girl reportedly claimed that she fell asleep as she was heavily inebriated, only to wake up and find that Damari and the man who had driven them home were gone. Detectives, however, quickly recognized the holes in her story based on evidence they recovered in Skokie and turned the focus of their investigation to the child's Chicago residence. They would talk to several juvenile witnesses at the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center and eventually located Damari's body near an abandoned home in Gary, Indiana.
Police said Damari was punished by being forced to remain under a cold shower for an undetermined amount of time before he died. NBC Chicago reported that the child "did something to upset family" on December 29 and he was placed in the cold shower as a result. According to the outlet, Damari vomited at some point and was taken out of the shower, but eventually succumbed to the cold. Relatives did not call for medical help and instead spun a "completely false" story about his disappearance in Skokie.
Jannie Perry is now charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. Meanwhile, Jeremiah is charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. A judge ordered him held on a $3 million bail on Sunday. That said, an unidentified juvenile sibling is also facing charges in Lake County Juvenile Court, but details are yet to be revealed.
“HE DID NOT DESERVE THIS:” 6-year-old Damari Perry’s mother and two siblings are charged in connection with his death after he was reported missing by his mother on Wednesday. He just had a birthday on Dec 30. @ABC7Chicago— Tre Ward ABC 7 (@TreWardTV) January 9, 2022
MORE: https://t.co/g44i77Bq5Q pic.twitter.com/lH0Tj6IyO9
According to NBC Chicago, the family could face more charges as the probe deepens. "Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry," Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement. "We would not have reached the awful truth of this case without the work of the FBI, the North Chicago Police Department, and the investigators and staff at the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center. Prosecutors, investigators, and victim support professionals worked late into the night and into the early morning to make sure we understand this tragic crime." He added, "Now, because of their rigorous and detailed investigation, we will be able to bring Damari's killers to justice in a courtroom."