The body of Damari Perry was found at an abandoned home in Gary, Indiana, overnight on January 8, days after being reported missing on January 5 by his mother and a sibling, according to North Chicago police.
In a news release, North Chicago police said the family initially provided information that indicated Damari might be missing in Skokie, Illinois. “But investigators quickly turned their focus to the boy’s home in North Chicago, after the family’s story was contradicted by evidence in Skokie,” according to a news release from the prosecutor’s office.
“By late Friday night, FBI agents and North Chicago detectives had focused their investigation on the mother and his adult siblings,” according to the news release. “Information from from witnesses led to the discovery of Damari’s body in Lake County, Indiana.”
The mother and the two siblings were taken into custody late Friday night and charged early Saturday after Damari’s body was found, according to the State’s Attorney news release. Jannie M. Perry, 38, has been charged with first degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice.
Damari’s 20-year brother, Jeremiah R. Perry, was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice. A juvenile sibling of Damari faces charges in Lake County’s Juvenile Court, the release said.
It is unclear if the suspects have retained counsel at this time.
In a bond hearing for Jeremiah Perry Sunday, prosecutors provided a timeline of events leading up to the Damari’s death.
According to the Lake County State Attorney’s Office spokesman, Jim Newton, the victim’s family allegedly punished Damari for something he had done the day before by putting him into a cold shower for an unknown amount of time. While in the shower, Damari allegedly began to vomit. He was unresponsive by the time he was pulled out, Newton said.
Newton also said the family did not seek emergency help, and that when they determined the child was dead, he was driven to an abandoned home in Indiana where he was left.
A judge set bond at $3 million for the 20-year-old sibling, Newton said.
The mother did not appear in court, according to Newton. The juvenile sibling did appear in court; however, Newton told CNN there was no information to release on him.
The State’s Attorney news release said more charges could be filed as the investigation continues. An autopsy is scheduled to completed next week in Indiana.