'Partially Frozen' Organs Found Inside 6-Year-Old Boy Who Was Allegedly Killed By Family Members, Autopsy Report Reveals
Damari Perry’s cause of death was determined to be hypothermia and the case was ruled a homicide.
January 13, 2022 at 6:35 pm
Update (Jan. 13, 2022): A coroner’s autopsy report reveals the internal organs inside of the 6-year-old boy found in an alley in Gary, Indiana, on Saturday were “partially frozen,” NBC 5 Chicago reports.
Damari Perry’s cause of death was determined to be hypothermia and the case was ruled a homicide. Authorities allege the Chicago boy was killed and dumped by his family before they reported him missing.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office in northwest Indiana conducted the postmortem examination and found "scattered ecchymosis on the right leg, extremely cold core temperature, and partially frozen internal organs." The autopsy also noted signs of "postmortem thermal injury/charring" on the child's body.
Three of Damari’s family members, including his mother, were arrested on charges related to his death. The mom, Jannie Perry, was charged with first-degree murder and concealing a homicidal death, while Damari’s 20-year-old brother, Jeremiah Perry, was charged with aggravated battery on a child, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice.
A second sibling is also facing serious charges, but officials are not releasing their name and information due to the sibling’s age. The case is being handled by the Lake County State’s attorney's office in Illinois.
Original (Jan. 10, 2022): Damari Perry, a 6-year-old boy who went missing from his home in Chicago on Wednesday, was found dead near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana, on Friday. Police said three family members who are accused of being involved in the child's death are in custody.
According to ABC 7, Damari's mother, Jannie Perry, is among the family members who have been identified as suspects. While Jannie has been charged for murder, two of the boy's siblings are charged with hiding his body.
Prosecutors said Jannie spoke to relatives on Dec. 29, saying her son had to be punished for something he had done. The mother allegedly placed the boy in a cold shower for an extended period of time, which caused him to later vomit and become unresponsive. Jannie and her older son, 20-year-old Jeremiah Perry, then disposed of Damari's body in Indiana, prosecutors said. A third family member is also facing charges, but has only been identified as a juvenile sibling.
The family called the police on Wednesday to report the boy could be missing in Skokie, Illinois. According to the family's report, a man and woman drove Damari and his 16-year-old sister to a party in Skokie. The child's sister told police that she fell asleep after having several drinks at the party and woke up to notice that her brother was missing, NBC Chicago reports.
Investigators remained focused on the boy's home in North Chicago and gathered information from witnesses, leading them to Damari's body near an abandoned home in Gary.
“HE DID NOT DESERVE THIS:” 6-year-old Damari Perry’s mother and two siblings are charged in connection with his death after he was reported missing by his mother on Wednesday. He just had a birthday on Dec 30. @ABC7Chicago— Tre Ward ABC 7 (@TreWardTV) January 9, 2022
MORE: https://t.co/g44i77Bq5Q pic.twitter.com/lH0Tj6IyO9
Jannie, 38, is charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice. Jeremiah is charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice. The other sibling is facing charges in Lake County Juvenile Court.
"This is not replaceable. He's not replaceable. We can't go back and get another Damari," Damari's cousin, Dreena Driver, said, according to ABC 7. "We're all shocked. We're all in disbelief. We all don't understand how she could let it get to this point. My little cousin should've been away from her."
Dalvin Driver, the boy's father, said he doesn't understand why anybody would want to hurt his son.
"I'm lost, man. I feel like I lost a part of myself when I got that call," he told ABC 7. "He was the best thing you can ever have for the time that I had to spend with him. It was some of the best time that I had in my life. He was just the life of me, man. It's like you can walk in the room and everybody loved him."
The 6-year-old was Driver's youngest child out of five.
"Why would a person hurt a child, my child at that," the grieving father said. "It's been like a nightmare that ended yesterday when they told me my son wasn't coming home."