A 6-year-old North Chicago boy reported missing on Wednesday and found dead Friday night in Indiana was actually killed late last month while being “punished,” prosecutors said Sunday.
Damari Perry’s bother, 20-year-old Jeremiah Perry made his first court appearance Sunday morning, and prosecutors used the opportunity to describe Damari’s final hours.
Lake County, Illinois, prosecutors told the court that on December 29, Damari did something his mother deemed worthy of punishment, WLS reported. The boy was put into a cold shower for an extended period of time and later began vomiting and passing out. No one called 911, and the boy died.
Jeremiah Perry and the boys’ mother, 38-year-old Jannie Perry, discussed disposing of the body, and ultimately decided to dump the child’s body 70 miles away in Gary, Indiana.
Jannie Perry reported her son missing on January 5, a week after the boy’s actual death. The mother and Damari’s 16-year-old sister said that the boy had vanished the day before after a woman named “Monique” and a man known as “Wacko” or “Chaos” drove the two siblings to a party/playdate in Skokie. The sister said she had several drinks and fell asleep, and when she awoke, Damari and “Wacko” were gone, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Police launched an investigation and quickly determined that the evidence they found didn’t match up with the story told by the family. On Saturday morning, North Chicago police announced that Damari’s body had been found near an abandoned home in Gary and that three members of his family had been taken into custody in relation to his death.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office later said those arrested were Jannie and Jeremiah Perry and a minor sibling who was being charged in juvenile court.
Jeremiah Perry has been charged with aggravated battery causing bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. His bond was set at $3 million, and he’s been ordered to have no contact with family, WLS said. He’s due in court again on Tuesday.
Jannie Perry did not appear in court on Sunday. She has been charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice.
The Lake County, Indiana, coroner is scheduled to conduct an autopsy on the boy’s body on Monday.
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[Featured image: Damari Perry/North Chicago Police Department]