KEY POINTS

  • The body of the 6-year-old Illinois boy was found near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana, Saturday
  • The victim's mother, 20-year-old brother and another juvenile sibling were taken into custody Friday night
  • The official cause of death has not yet been released

The mother and two siblings of a 6-year-old Illinois boy who was found dead in Indiana have been charged in the child’s death.

The body of Damari Perry, of Chicago, was found near an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana, Saturday, Associated Press reported, citing police.

The child was reported missing by his 38-year-old mother Jannie Perry and one of the child's siblings Wednesday. The family told police that the boy went missing in Skokie, Illinois, where the victim and his 16-year-old sister were driven to a party by a man and a woman, NBC 5 reported, citing authorities.

The sister told authorities that she had several drinks at the party and fell asleep, but when she woke up, Damari and the man who had driven her were gone, the report said.

However, the story the victim's family told police ended up being "completely false" after investigators uncovered several contradictions in the tale based on evidence found in Skokie, according to the Lake County State Attorney’s Office.

Investigators turned their attention to the victim's North Chicago home and interviewed several witnesses, including juveniles. The investigation led them to the boy's body.

Damari's mother Jannie, his 20-year brother Jeremiah Perry and another juvenile sibling of the victim were taken into custody Friday night.

Jannie was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death, and obstructing justice, the Lake County State Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

 

Jeremiah was charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child under 12, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice in connection to Damari's death.

The unidentified minor sibling faces charges in Lake County’s Juvenile Court.

The official cause of death has not yet been released. The coroner’s office in Lake County, Indiana, is expected to complete the autopsy next week, and additional charges could be filed as the investigation continues.

The defendants are expected to appear in court Sunday morning for a bond hearing.

In a statement, North Chicago Police Chief Lazaro Perez said that the body of the 6-year-old boy was discovered by FBI agents and North Chicago detectives at an abandoned house located in the 700 block of Van Buren Street in Gary.

"Our hearts ache over the murder of 6-year-old Damari Perry. ... Prosecutors, investigators, and victim support professionals worked late into the night and into the early morning to make sure we understood this tragic crime now," Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement.

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