A Lake County judge Sunday ordered 20-year-old Jeremiah R. Perry, of North Chicago, held on $3 million bail on charges stemming from the death of his younger brother, Damari Perry, age 6.
Jeremiah R. Perry is one of three family members charged in connection with the death of Damari Perry. The 6 years-old’s body was found Saturday morning, January 8, 2022 near an abandoned house on Van Buren Avenue in Gary, Indiana. Jeremiah R. Perry faces charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice.
Perry’s mother, Jannie M. Perry, age 38, of North Chicago faces charges of first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice. Jannie M. Perry did not appear in court Sunday, January 9, 2022.
A sister of Damari Perry has been charged in Lake County juvenile court, but did not appear in court Sunday.
Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Kyle Doyle said Jannie Perry told relatives December 30, 2021 that Damari needed to be punished, and family members put him into cold water in a tub with a shower for an extended period of time. Damari Perry began vomiting and stopped responding, according to Doyle, and the he was removed from the water. No paramedics were called, even though he was unresponsive.
Doyle said Jannie Perry and Jeremiah Perry took the boy’s body to Indiana and left the body at the abandoned property.
On January 5, 2022 the family reported Damari missing, prompting a search by North Chicago Department and the FBI. Skokie police also assisted because of a concocted story that the boy was kidnapped at a party at an apartment in Skokie.
Police investigators discovered contradictory evidence and focused the investigation at the boy’s North Chicago home before finding Damari’s body in Indiana Saturday.
North Chicago Police Chief Lazaro Perez confirmed that Damari’s body was found near an abandoned house in the 700 block of Van Buren Street in Gary.
Lake County Assistant Public Defender Divina Ayala asked for a $20,000 bond for Jeremiah Perry. The public defender cited Jeremiah Perry’s minimal criminal history — one prior conviction for possession of a weapon without identification — as the reason for the lesser bond. Ayala said he does not appear to be a flight risk or pose a significant danger to the community.
Jeremiah R. Perry is scheduled to return to court Tuesday, January 12, 2022. Additional charges may be filed as the investigation continues and an autopsy is completed next week in Indiana, according to prosecutors.
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BODY FOUND in Block of 700 Van Buren Ave …
The North Chicago Police Department initially requested the assistance of the community in locating an “Endangered Missing Juvenile named Damari Perry.” Allegedly, there was false information suspects told police inidicating that Damari Perry was last seen wearing a black Jacket, camouflage pants, and black gym shoes at a party believed to be in Skokie on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
The false information that police also initially received was that Perry and his 16-year-old sister were passengers in a vehicle that was driven to the party by a female/black known only as “Monique”. They were accompanied by a male/black known as “Wacko” or “Chaos”. “Monique” was reportedly driving a black 4-door Nissan sedan (unknown year or model) with tinted front windows and a dent in the front passenger door.
Damari Perry’s sister described that the apartment building was possibly a three-story yellow building with an exposed stairway. Police were told the apartment building was possibly located in or near Skokie.
Police were told that Damari’s sister had several drinks at the party and fell asleep. She reported to police that when she woke up approximately two hours later, Damari and “Wacko” were no longer in the apartment, and that she was driven back to North Chicago by “Monique,” police said.
“Wacko” was described as approximately a 22 year-old with a thin build and short braids. He was described as having a tattoo with cursive writing above one of his eyebrows.
“Monique” was described as approximately a 20 year-old and approximately 5’5″ tall.