CHICAGO (TCD) -- A mother and two of her children are accused of killing her 6-year-old son on his birthday and then reporting him missing.
The North Chicago Police Department posted about Damari Perry’s disappearance Jan. 6, saying the little boy was last seen in Skokie on Jan. 4. On Saturday, Jan. 8, North Chicago Police announced officers from their department and the FBI located Damari’s body near abandoned houses in the 700 block of Van Buren Street in Gary, Ind. North Chicago Police said the Lake County Coroner’s Office will conduct the autopsy.
According to North Chicago Police, three adult family members were arrested and the juvenile members of the family were placed into DCFS custody.
WGN-TV reports Damari’s family was punishing him for something he did on Dec. 29, the day before his birthday. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said, "He was placed into a cold shower for an extended period of time, held there by family members at the direction of the mother. We believe the mother may have been involved also, and at some point, he became unresponsive, vomited, and died."
Rinehart reportedly believes the family kept Damari’s body either inside a car or the home for a few days. According to WGN, Rinehart said this is "one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen."
NBC Chicago reports Damari’s brother Jeremiah Perry, 20, was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. His bail was set at $3 million. Damari and Jeremiah’s mother, Jannie Perry, was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice. A juvenile sibling also faces charges, according to NBC Chicago.
Family initially told police Damari went missing after going to a party with his sister in Skokie, Ill., CBS Chicago reports. Rinehart, however, reportedly says that statement is "completely false."
The suspects could face additional charges following the autopsy, which is scheduled for Jan. 10.