The family of a 6-year-old boy from suburban Chicago sought to punish him before his death and then tried to dispose of his body in Indiana, prosecutors said Sunday.
According to FBI Chicago officials, the body of Damari Perry, of North Chicago, was found near an abandoned house in Gary, WLS-TV reported.
Jannie M. Perry, 38, the child’s mother, was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicide and obstruction of justice, prosecutors announced during a Saturday afternoon news conference. The boy’s brother, Jeremiah R. Perry, 20, was also charged with aggravated battery, concealing a homicide and obstruction of justice. A third family member, identified only as a juvenile sibling, is also facing undisclosed charges, according to WLS.
A judge ordered Jeremiah Perry held on $3 million bail, the Daily Herald reported.
On Sunday, Lake County prosecutors said in court that on Dec. 29, Jannie Perry told family members that the child had to be punished, WLS reported. The judge also noted that Damari Perry had a disability.
Prosecutors alleged that family members put the boy into cold water in a tub for an extended period, WBBM-TV reported.
Damari Perry began vomiting and became unresponsive, prosecutors said. He was taken out of the water but no emergency calls were made, the television station reported.
After the family members determined the boy had died, Jeremiah Perry and Jannie Perry discussed how to dispose of the body, prosecutors said.
They took him to Indiana and attempted to dispose of him there, WLS reported.
On Wednesday, the family called to report that Damari Perry could be missing in Skokie, Illinois. However, investigators said they redirected their focus to the boy’s home in North Chicago after the family’s story was contradicted by evidence, according to the television station.
”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 told the court.
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