A mother who has been charged with murdering her six-year-old son, who was allegedly punished with a freezing shower until he passed out, has been pictured.
Damari Perry, from Chicago, was found dead in freezing temperatures in Indiana on Saturday morning and was ruled to have been the victim of a homicide, a medical coroner said on Tuesday.
The boy’s mother Jannie Perry, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder with two of his siblings also facing charges for their involvement.
A booking photograph of the young boy’s mother has been released as it was revealed that she lost custody of all seven of her children for three years.
Damari was initially reported missing on January 5 by his mother and his 20-year-old brother Jeremiah R. Perry, who faces charges for his involvement in the death of the young boy.
But the police investigation turned to Damari’s home ‘after the family’s story was contradicted’, the Lake County, Illinois, State’s Attorney said.
Jannie Perry (pictured), 38, has been charged with first-degree murder after her six-year-old son Damari was found dead in freezing temperatures in Indiana on Saturday morning
It has been revealed Damari’s mother Jannie lost custody of her seven children between 2014 and 2017, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) said.
On Tuesday, DCFS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said there was an allegation of domestic violence in 2014 that the agency investigated and discovered to be true, according to NBC Chicago.
McCaffrey said DCFS took custody of the four children who were living in the home at the time.
In 2014, Jannie reportedly gave birth to a fifth child, who was taken into protective custody, and one year later, she gave birth to Damari, who is understood to have been taken into custody and placed in foster care.
In 2017, Jannie gave birth to a seventh child who was also taken into custody, according to officials.
Agency records are believed to show that the court ordered all seven children to be returned to Jannie’s home in 2017, DCFS said.
McCaffrey said DCFS did not have any more contact with the family until an allegation of abuse and neglect was filed in May 2021, which was investigated and determined to be unfounded, according to local media reports.
Boone County court records show that in June 2014, Jannie unsuccessfully argued for an order of protection against Damari Perry’s father Dalvin Driver.
The death of Damari, from Chicago, has been ruled a homicide by the Lake County Coroner’s Office after his body was found in found in freezing temperatures
She reportedly accused him of choking her on three separate occasions. It is not clear whether this was the allegation that prompted the DCFS investigation.
It comes after Damari’s body was found naked and wrapped in a plastic trash bag in an alley in freezing temperatures in Indiana on Saturday morning.
He had reportedly been forced into a cold shower by three of his family members until he vomited and passed out, according to authorities.
They allegedly then dumped his body near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana.
His mother Jannie Perry has been charged with first-degree murder and two of his siblings – Jeremiah R. Perry and an unnamed juvenile – also face charges for their involvement.
A postmortem examination for Damari, which was conducted on Monday, found he had an extremely cold core temperature and partially frozen internal organs, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
The exam also found a scattered discoloration of the skin on the right leg and postmortem thermal injury or charring over the body, the coroner’s office said.
The young boy’s body had been disposed near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana after his mother and two of his siblings allegedly dumped him there
Damari’s older brother Jeremiah R. Perry faces charges for his involvement in the death of the young boy
Jannie and Jeremiah reportedly told authorities Damari may have gone missing in Skokie, Illinois, where he and his 16-year-old sister were driven to a party, according to NBC 5 Chicago.
When police questioned the girl, she reportedly told officers that she fell asleep after having several drinks and woke up to find that Damari and the man who had driven them were gone.
But investigators quickly uncovered several contradictions in the story based on evidence they found in Skokie, and instead turned their attention to the boy’s North Chicago home.
They interviewed several juvenile witnesses at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center, who led them to find Damari’s body near an abandoned home in Gary, Indiana.
Perry had allegedly been placed in a cold shower as punishment before he vomited as a result and passed out
According to authorities, Damari was punished by being placed in a cold shower for an undetermined amount of time prior to his death.
He reportedly ‘did something to upset family’ on December 29, according to NBC 5 Chicago, and as a result, family members put him in the cold shower.
At some point, Damari vomited and was then taken out of the shower, but he eventually died. Prosecutors claim the relatives did not call for medical help and instead spun the ‘completely false’ story about Skokie.
Damari’s mother, Jannie, is now charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice.
Jeremiah was also charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice. A judge on Sunday ordered him held on a $3million bail.
A balloon release scheduled for January 10 was organized to honor Damari
And an unnamed juvenile sibling also faces charges in Lake County Juvenile Court, with no further details offered on that suspect.
More charges could be filed against the family as the investigation continues.
‘Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry,’ Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement.
‘We would not have reached the awful truth of this case without the work of the FBI, the North Chicago Police Department and the investigators and staff at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center.’
‘Prosecutors, investigators and victim support professionals worked late into the night and into the early morning to make sure we understand this tragic crime,’ he continued.
‘Now, because of their rigorous and detailed investigation, we will be able to bring Damari’s killers to justice in a courtroom.’