GARY, Ind. — Officials determined 6-year-old Damari Perry died of hypothermia and was found dead wrapped naked in a trash bag, according to an autopsy report.
According to the report, Dr. Zhou Wang indicated that Perry had partially frozen internal organs and was found “partially charred.” Wang said the charring was determined to be post-mortem and cause of death was hypothermia.
Perry’s body was located by FBI agents on Friday in an alley between Harrison and Van Buren in Gary.
Prosecutors said the young boy’s mother and two of his siblings killed him on his birthday, Dec. 30, at an abandoned Gary 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 for first-degree murder, among other charges. 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 also faces a charge in connection to his homicide and is in custody.
Authorities said one of his family members made a false missing person’s report last week, days after Damari had already died.
DCFS 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.