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Six-Year-Old Damari Perry Had "Partially Frozen" Organs Coroner Says As Family Members Face Charges

The naked, partially charred body of six-year-old Damari Perry was found in a trash bag near an abandoned house, authorities confirmed. His death has been ruled as a homicide.


Damari Perry’s body was found in an alley in Indiana late on Friday
Damari Perry’s body was found in an alley in Indiana on Saturday

The body of six-year-old Damari Perry, found in an alley in Gary, Indiana, displayed signs of hypothermia and "partially frozen" internal organs, the Lake County coroner has said.


Three family members, including the boy's own mother, have been charged in connection to the death of the young boy, whose body was discovered on Saturday, and which has been described as a homicide by the coroner.


Damari's mother, 38-year-old, Jannie Perry, has been charged with first-degree murder, whilst his brother, 20-year-old Jeremiah Perry, has been charged with aggravated battery on a child. Another sibling, a juvenile, has also been charged.


It is still unclear if the suspects have retained legal representation to speak on their behalf.


It is alleged that Damari was held under a cold shower for a long period of time by family members before he vomited and lost consciousness on 30 December.


David Pastrick, Coroner for Lake County said in a statement on Tuesday that Damari was found naked in a trash bag and that his body was partially charred, adding that the charring appeared to have occurred after his death. He also reported that one of his legs was badly bruised.


In his statement, he said that the body of Damari showed signs of "extremely cold core temperature, and partially frozen internal organs." The weather in the area has been exceptionally cold since the start of January.



The coroner said, with the death being deemed as homicide, "based on the above findings and the circumstance the pending cause of death is hypothermia."


Damari Perry lived in North Chicago and the case is being handled by the Lake County State's Attorney in Illinois. Gary is a town located southeast of Chicago, just across the state border.


North Chicago Police confirmed that the body of Damari Perry was found close to an abandoned house.


David Pastrick said that the FBI notified the coroner's office of the discovery of the body before 5am on Saturday.


Previously, authorities had said that the mother and 20-year-old brother had reported Damari missing on 5 January, claiming that he was last seen in Skokie, Illinois, around 15 miles north of downtown Chicago.


Police said that the family claimed that Damari's 16-year-old sister took him to a party in Skokie, they said that she had passed out from drinking and when she woke up she realised that her little brother was missing.



Eric Rinehart, Lake Country State's Attorney, said on Saturday that this version of events was "completely false." The mother and brother are now also facing obstruction of justice charges, he confirmed.


After interviewing several members of the family, some of them children, authorities searched for Damari in Gary, according to the office of the prosecutor.


Mr Rinehart said, "our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry."


Police said on Monday that the mother of Damari was taken to hospital on Saturday after claiming to feel ill, but additional information regarding her health has not been released.

Her court appearance to decide on her bond has been delayed due to her time in hospital.


This is an ongoing case and we will update you as further information is made available.