A birthday memorial of stuffed animals and balloons could be seen outside the Dupo home of 4-year-old Emily Rose Perrin on Tuesday following what police described as a “tragic incident” on Sunday.
Instead of celebrating a birthday, the items were placed in mourning.
Emily’s mother, Mary B. Lockett, 36, of 105 N. Ninth Street, was charged Tuesday with the first-degree murder in the case.
Court information at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Belleville alleges Lockett suffocated her young daughter, who suffered from cystic fibrosis.
Police found Emily unresponsive and unconscious about 2:30 p.m. Sunday inside her home after receiving a 911 call about a child not breathing.
Upon arrival at the scene, EMS personnel attempted CPR on Perrin, and continued it on the way to the hospital, to no avail, according to a news release issued by Dupo police.
The child was pronounced dead at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis County.
During the investigation into Emily’s death, Dupo police brought in the Illinois State Police and the Southern Illinois Child Death Investigation Task Force to assist the department.
Those familiar with the family told the media Emily battled cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs, as well as other organs, causing frequent infections and making breathing, keeping a clear airway and gaining weight extremely difficult. Cystic fibrosis usually involves daily care and treatments and continuous health monitoring.
Next door, at 107 N. Ninth Street, Dupo resident Rex Long said he did not interact much with his neighbors and that they had only moved in a few weeks ago.
“They pretty much kept to themselves,” Long said.
However, Long said his daughter had played with Emily a few times.
Dupo School Superintendent Steve Smith said grief counselors were on hand Monday at Bluffview Elementary School, where Emily had attended pre-kindergarten classes.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for funeral and burial costs. Click here to make a donation.