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In a ghastly alleged incident that some news outlets have characterized as “torture,” authorities have charged a Chicago-area mother with murder after cops found her six-year-old son dead in an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana.
The family had originally reported Damari Perry as missing on January 5. A 16-year-old sister reportedly claimed that she fell asleep after having a few drinks at a party in Skokie, Ill., where she and Damari had been driven to by a man and a woman. When she awoke, her brother was no longer around, NBC Chicago reported.
After reportedly determining that the explanation was false and that no one from Skokie was involved, investigators with the FBI and well as local law enforcement agencies broadened their search which eventually led them to the Gary location on January 8 after speaking with several witnesses.
After performing an autopsy, the Lake County Coroner’s Office announced that Perry died from hypothermia, i.e., from freezing to death, upon examining the youngster’s partially burned, naked body that was discovered wrapped in a plastic trash bag.
“Three family members have been accused of forcing him into a cold shower on Dec. 30 – where they made him stay until he threw up and passed out. Then they failed to call anyone for assistance,” Fox News reported. “Dr. Zhou Wang, who conducted the postmortem exam, found scattered bruising on the boy’s right leg, ‘extremely cold core temperature and partially frozen internal organs,'” Fox added.
Damari was reportedly forced into the shower as a form of punishment for something he had done.
“[T]he Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Damari’s mother, Jannie M. Perry, 38, with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. The office also charged Damari’s 20-year 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,” Lake County, Il, prosecutors detailed on January 8.
Additional charges are also possible, prosecutors noted, as the probe continues.
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
Mrs. Perry reportedly lost custody of five other kids at the time in 2014 following a domestic violence investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, according to CBS Chicago.
She regained custody of all of them in 2017 by court order. “Damari was taken into the state’s care at birth in 2015,” the news outlet recalled.
DCFS apparently conducted two investigations into the Perry family.
Watch a report from CBS Chicago on this tragic incident embedded below:
“Prosecutors, investigators, and victim support professionals worked late into the night and into the early morning to make sure we understood this tragic crime now, because of their rigorous and detailed investigation, we will be able to bring Damari’s killers to justice in a courtroom,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said, in part.
According to CBS Chicago, the boy’s mom has a total of seven children. “The younger kids are likely back in the state’s care as she sits in jail.”
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