His mother has been charged with murder after his partially frozen, partially burned body was found.
A 6-year-old Chicago boy who was reported missing by his family was killed by them, prosecutors have alleged.
The naked body of Damari Perry was found by FBI agents wrapped in a trash bag near an abandoned house in Indiana on Saturday; his internal organs were partially frozen, while the body had been partially burned.
An autopsy on Monday determined the cause of death as hypothermia, and the coroner ruled it a homicide.
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His mother, 38-year-old Jannie Parry, and two of his siblings have now been charged in connection with his death.
The boy was first reported missing on January 5 by his mother and 20-year-old brother Jeremiah Perry; they claimed his 16-year-old sister had taken him to a party the night before, driven there by a man and woman. The sister claimed that she had had a number of drinks at the party and fell asleep, and that when she woke up, both the man and her little brother had disappeared.
Prosecutors now call that version of events “completely false.”
In a court hearing Sunday, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Doyle said the little boy “did something that the mother felt needed to be punished for”; the following day he was put into a cold shower for an “extended period of time.”
Damari vomited and became unresponsive, and eventually died, Doyle said. But nobody in the family called 911 for medical assistance.
Instead, Damari’s mother and brother discussed what to do with the body, driving it to Indiana to dump and burn before inventing the party story, the prosecutor claimed.
According to the Lake County Coroner’s Office, Damari’s body was found with bruising on his legs, with an “extremely cold core temperature, and partially frozen internal organs,” NBC Chicago reported. The body also showed “postmortem thermal injury/charring”, showing someone had attempted to burn the corpse.
Jannie Parry was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice.
Jeremiah Perry was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice.
A second juvenile sibling was also arrested for charges related to concealing the boy’s body; because of their age, their identity has not been released.
The mother was due to appear in court in Sunday, but was taken to hospital in police custody instead after complaining she was ill.
On Wednesday she was discharged back to court, where she was ordered held on a $5million bond. Her elder son is being held on $3million bond.
“Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry,” Lake County States Attorney Eric Rinehart said. “We would not have reached the awful truth of this case without the work of the FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation, the North Chicago Police Department, and the investigators and staff at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center.”
“Now, because of their rigorous and detailed investigation, we will be able to secure justice for Damari in a courtroom.”