Missing 6-Year-Old Boy's Body Found in Indiana Alley, Mother and Siblings Are Charged in Death
Authorities in Illinois investigating the death of 6-year-old Damari Perry have filed charges against the boy's mother as well as two of his siblings.
Damari had been reported missing on Jan. 5. His body was found in an alley in Gary, Ind., on Saturday.
A statement from the Lake County State's Attorney's Office confirms Damari's mother, Jannie M. Perry, 38, is charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice — all stemming from the boy's death.
Prosecutors also charged Damari's 20-year-old brother, Jeremiah R. Perry, with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice.
"Another juvenile sibling of Damari faces charges in Lake County's Juvenile Court," reads the statement, noting that "all three were taken into custody Friday night."
The statement alleges Jannie and Jeremiah Perry reported Damari missing, telling police he was last seen in Skokie, Ill.
However, "investigators quickly turned their focus to the boy's home in North Chicago, after the family's story was contradicted by evidence in Skokie," reads the statement.
In the statement, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart characterized the Skokie story as "completely false."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-state investigation into Damari's disappearance.
The statement indicates that by Friday night, the focus of investigators was squarely on the missing boy's mother and siblings.
"Information from witnesses led to the discovery of Damari's body in Lake County, Indiana," the statement reads.
Officials have yet to say how Damari was killed.
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But during a hearing Sunday, attended by WMAQ-TV, prosecutors alleged Damari "did something to upset [his] family" on Dec. 29.
As punishment, prosecutors allege family members put Damari in the shower. At some point, the boy vomited and was removed from the shower.
According to the report, prosecutors said the young boy eventually died, and that relatives never sought medical treatment for him.
"Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry," said Rinehart in the statement.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched on behalf of Damari's father, and proceeds will help cover the child's burial costs.