Damari Perry update: North Chicago mom held on $5M bond in 6-year-old son's death

Jannie M. Perry charged with first-degree murder after son found dead in Gary
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bond was set at $5 million Wednesday for a North Chicago mother charged with murder in the death of her 6-year-old son.

Damari Perry's body was found Saturday near an abandoned home in Gary after prosecutors say his mother and siblings falsely reported him missing. An autopsy found Damari died of hypothermia, and there were thermal burns or charring over his body, the Lake County coroner's office said. His death was ruled a homicide.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.

Jannie M. Perry, of North Chicago, is charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice in Damari's death, according to the Lake County state's attorney's office. Two of her other children are also charged with hiding his body.

She appeared in bond court Wednesday after spending time in a local hospital, where prosecutors say she was taken by police after complaining of illness. Perry has remained in custody of local police since charges were initiated.

RELATED: Damari Perry autopsy reveals he died from hypothermia; mother charged with murder

"Our victim advocates, prosecutors, and detectives continue to support the family in this case while awaiting the official autopsy results from Lake County, Indiana. We believe that the court made the right decision with respect to this defendant's bond and custody status," State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said after the bond hearing.

When asked by the judge if she planned to hire a private attorney, Perry replied "eventually," but for now, will be represented by a public defender.

No additional details about the crime were revealed in bond court. A preliminary hearing date for Perry has been set for Feb. 8.

RELATED: Damari Perry mother, brother tried to punish boy, 6, before death, hiding body: Lake Co. prosecutors

Damari's brother, 20-year-old Jeremiah Perry, is charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a child, concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice, prosecutors said.

Jeremiah Perry appeared at a bond hearing Sunday and was ordered held on $3 million bail.

On Dec. 30, family members had forced the child into a cold shower as punishment, prosecutors alleged during Jeremiah's bond hearing. Damari started vomiting and became unresponsive, and after he died the family decided to discard his body in an abandoned building in Gary, Indiana.

RELATED: North Chicago boy Damari Perry, 6, missing under 'unusual circumstances;' FBI joins search

Jannie and one of Damari's siblings reported him missing on Jan. 5 and told authorities he might be in Skokie. She told officers that she, Damari and his 16-year-old sister were driven to a party in the Skokie area by a man and woman, where she had several drinks and fell asleep, police said.

When she woke up about two hours later, Damari and the man were missing, and the woman had allegedly driven the 16-year-old back to North Chicago, police said Jannie Perry told them.

Investigators discovered that Jannie's story was fabricated, and spoke with witnesses that led to the discovery of Damari's body, prosecutors said.

Another sibling, who is under 18, is also facing unspecified charges, officials said. Additional juvenile members of the family have been placed in DCFS care, officials said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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