Authorities said on Saturday that the mother and siblings of a 6-year-old boy whose body was found in an alley in Gary, Indiana are being charged in relation to his death.
According to the office of the Lake County State’s Attorney, Jannie M. Perry, 38, was charged with first-degree murder, concealing a homicide, and obstructing justice in the death of Damari Perry.
Perry and Damari’s two siblings were arrested Friday night and have remained in custody since then. The victim’s 20-year-old brother, Jeremiah R. Perry, was also charged with aggravated battery on a child, concealing a homicide, and obstructing justice. A juvenile sibling was charged in connection with the case as well, but because of the suspect’s age, details have been withheld from the public.
The victim had been reported missing by his mother and 20-year-old brother on January 5, with family members saying he was last seen the previous day in Skokie, Illinois.
Initially, family members claimed he and his 16-year-old sister had been taken to a party in the area, but the sister fell asleep after several drinks to find her brother missing as well as the man who drove them to the location.
But Eric Rinehart, Lake County State’s Attorney, said the story was “completely false,” bringing on the obstruction of justice charges against the mother and adult brother.
Unreleased evidence in Skokie led investigators to focus on the child’s North Chicago home, and interviews on Thursday and Friday with family, including children, helped focus the inquiry on the mother and siblings. Damari’s body was found in an alley early on Saturday morning. Authorities did not disclose the manner of death, and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
“Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry,” Rinehart commented in his office’s statement. The defendants had been scheduled to appear in court on Sunday for their bond hearing.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS