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North Chicago mother jailed on murder charge in death of son after alleged cold-shower punishment; held on $5 million bail

The North Chicago woman charged in the death of her young son was discharged from a hospital and made an appearance in Lake County bond court Wednesday, according to prosecutors.

Jannie M. Perry, 38, was remanded afterward to the Lake County jail, where she is being held in lieu of $5 million bail, charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son, Damari.

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Details of the alleged crime were not discussed during the brief courtroom appearance Wednesday afternoon before Judge Raymond Collins, Lake County State’s Attorney’s spokesman Jim Newton said.

Perry is next scheduled to appear on Feb. 8, prosecutors said. She had been hospitalized with an undisclosed illness since Saturday, shortly after she was arrested.

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“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.

Authorities alleged that Perry along with two of her older sons kept Damari in a cold shower as a punishment for misbehavior until the boy became unresponsive and later died. The punishment was allegedly administered in late December, a day before what would have been Damari’s sixth birthday.

His body was left near an alleyway and an abandoned house in Gary, Indiana, before family members reported him missing last week. Police investigated the disappearance, and said they determined the story was made up, before taking Perry and two sons into custody Friday night.

Damari’s body, naked and wrapped in a plastic garbage bag, was recovered Saturday by North Chicago police and FBI agents, aided by Indiana authorities. An autopsy showed the boy died from hypothermia, and his body showed signs of charring that took place after he died, the Lake County, Indiana, coroner said.

Jeremiah Perry, 20, is charged with aggravated battery and concealment of a homicide in connection with his brother’s death, and he is being held in the Lake County jail. Another brother, 17, has been charged as a juvenile. They made initial court appearances over the weekend.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removed Perry’s other four children from their residence in the 1700 block of North Sheridan Road and placed them in foster care. A DSCFS spokesman said earlier this week that Perry had lost custody of her children between 2014 and 2017 due to a domestic violence issue, and that Damari was placed into foster care shortly after he was born in December 2015.

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