GARY, Ind. (WGN) — Six-year-old Damari Perry died of hypothermia and was found dead wrapped naked in a trash bag, according to an autopsy report.
His body was found by FBI agents on Saturday in an alley between Harrison and Van Buren in Gary, Indiana.
According to the report, Perry had partially frozen internal organs and was found “partially charred.” Authorities said the charring was determined to be post-mortem and the cause of death was hypothermia.
Prosecutors said the boy’s mother and two of his siblings killed him on his birthday, Dec. 30, at an abandoned home after they developed a plan to punish him for something he’d done the day before.
“He was placed into a cold shower for an extended period of time, held there by family members at the direction of the mother,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said. “We believe the mother may have been involved also, and at some point, he became unresponsive, vomited and died.”
Damari’s mother, Jannie Perry, was arrested on a first-degree murder charge, among others. She was taken to a hospital after saying she was ill and will be taken to bond court once she is medically discharged.
Damari’s 20-year-old brother, Jeremiah, is charged with aggravated battery, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice. He is being held on a $3 million bond.
A juvenile sibling of Damari’s is in custody and also faces a charge in connection with his death.
Authorities said one of his family members made a false missing person’s report last week, days after Damari had already died.
Department of Children and Family Services officials visited the Perry family once in 2021 and previously in 2014.
A GoFundMe on behalf of the father of Damari Perry has been organized. At this time, it has raised over $14,000.