The body of 6-year-old Damari Perry was found Friday night near an abandoned home on Van Buren Street, just off 7th Avenue in Gary, according to police. Three members of his family were arrested in connection with his death.
“This is not replaceable. He is not replaceable! We can’t go back and get another Damari,” said the boy’s cousin, Dreena Driver.
Damari’s mother, Jannie M. Perry, 38, has been charged with first degree murder, concealment of a murder and obstruction of justice, Lake County (IN) prosecutors announced Saturday afternoon.
“” We are all shocked! We are all incredulous! We don’t all understand how he could let it get to this point, “added Dreena.” My little cousin should have been away from her! “
Jeremiah R. Perry, the boy’s 20-year-old brother, has also been charged with aggravated battery, cover-up for murder and obstruction of justice. A third family member, identified only as a younger brother, also faces charges, authorities said.
The family initially provided information to police indicating that Damari may be missing in Skokie, but investigators said they quickly focused on the boy’s North Chicago home after evidence contradicted the family’s story.
“Prosecutors, investigators, and victim support professionals worked late into the night and into the early morning hours to make sure we understood this tragic crime now, due to their rigorous and detailed investigation, we will be able to bring Damari’s killers to justice. justice in a courtroom. “Lake County (IL) State Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
More charges could be filed as the investigation continues, prosecutors added.
“I’m lost, man. I feel like I lost a part of myself when I got that call,” said the boy’s father, Dalvin Driver.
Damari is Dalvin’s youngest daughter of five.
“It was the best you can have in the time I had to spend with him. It was one of the best moments I had in my life,” Dalvin said. “He was my life, man. It’s like you could walk in the room and everyone loved him!”
The boy was reported missing shortly before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, but was allegedly last seen between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. the day before. The FBI joined a search of various departments for the boy, who, they said, disappeared under “unusual circumstances.”
“Why would a person hurt a child, my child in that?” Dalvin said.
North Chicago police initially said Damari’s disappearance came after the boy and his sister were allegedly taken to a party in Skokie. Now, researchers say the family members’ story was not true.
“[It’s] It was like a nightmare that ended yesterday when they told me my son would not be coming home, “Dalvin said.
“He traumatized a lot of people with this,” added Dreena. “I ask God not to have mercy on any of their souls for what they did to him because they hurt my whole family.”
Now, Dalvin prays for justice to come as he plans to put his youngest son to rest.
“I wish I was still here,” Dalvin said. “I just had a little time to spend with my baby, man. I wish I had more. Basically, I wish he was still here.”
An autopsy is scheduled for next week in Indiana, authorities said.
The three defendants are expected to appear in court for a bond hearing on Sunday.
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