North Chicago boy found in Gary died of hypothermia, with partially frozen organs, coroner says


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A 6-year-old boy in North Chicago, Illinois was reported missing January 5, 2022. Police were told the boy, Damari Perry, was abducted from Skokie, IL, where his 16-year-old sister had brought him with her to a party. She said she fell asleep after drinking and woke up to find her brother missing. She told police a man known as “Wacko” or “Chaos” had abducted him. The sister could not remember the location of the party, and said she was driven home by a a woman named “Monique.”

When police realized the family’s story wasn’t matching witness statements, the FBI was brought in to investigate. Police eventually located the body of the missing child, naked and wrapped in a trash bag, outside near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana.

Damari’s mother, 38-year-old Jannie Perry, was arrested Saturday, Jan. 8. Her bond was set at $5 million. Also arrested was Jannie’s older son, 20-year-old Jeremiah R. Perry, who was charged with aggravated battery causing harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. He is being held on $3 million bond. A juvenile family member was also arrested.

Police say the boy did something that his mother felt deserved punishment and was allegedly forced into a cold shower or bath for an extended time, where he vomited and became unresponsive. He is believed to have been killed on December 30, his birthday, six days before he was reported missing.

The coroner determined he died of hypothermia. The autopsy found an extremely low core temperature and partially frozen internal organs, as well as evidence of postmortem charring.

Jannie Perry had lost custody of five other children in 2015 following a DCFS domestic violence investigation. As a result, Damari was taken from his mother at birth in 2016 and entered into the foster care system. In 2017, a court ordered the six children to be returned to their mother’s custody. A DCFS abuse and neglect investigation took took place last year to determine whether Damari’s mother wrote a threatening message to harm him but determined the threat was unfounded.

Some news sources are reporting the juvenile arrested was another brother, while others imply it was the 16-year-old sister who claimed to be at a party with the child when he was abducted.

Daily Herald article
WGN 9 article
CBS 2 article
Fox 32 article

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