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Family remembers downtown stabbing victim

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Henry J. Perkins Jr. was looking forward to his sister and brother-in-law coming from Oregon to celebrate their father’s birthday today.

Instead, his family will be coming together for the 34-year-old J.B. Wise Place man’s funeral later this week.

Mr. Perkins was stabbed to death Sunday night in the downtown apartment he shared with his girlfriend, just 23 days after they moved in, his family said. He had dated Briana Simpson for the past three years.

“My son was a good boy,” said Sharon L. Perkins, while sitting on the family’s State Street steps Monday afternoon.

Mrs. Perkins said she and her family are frustrated about what little information they’ve been told by police about what happened to her only son. They are waiting to hear from police about the investigation into his death and autopsy results, she said.

On Sunday, Mr. Perkins’s father, Henry J. Perkins, brought him a bowl of chili and took him to the store. That was the last time he saw his son. Heaven M. Perkins, 23, said she last talked to her brother about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. He was in a good mood and watching a friend’s 9-year-old daughter, she said.

They waited until about 9 p.m. Sunday to see if Henry needed a ride to work on Monday morning, but that call never came. The family went to bed, assuming that he had arranged for his own ride to Adams, Sharon Perkins said.

Described as having a big heart, Henry Perkins Jr. convinced the family to allow two homeless men to live in their 90-year-old, four bedroom house.

“He’d do anything for you,” Heaven Perkins said. “And he never asked for anything.”

She and her parents heard about his death from her sister, Sherry L. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson and her husband, Jeremy, were on their way to Watertown from Oregon for what was supposed to be a big family celebration.

Mrs. Johnson heard about his death from a mutual friend and immediately called her family to tell them the horrible news, so they would not read it on Facebook.

The family then had to make a difficult call to the slain man’s 12-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who lives in Oregon with her mother, they said.

“He loved her, and she loved him,” Heaven Perkins said.

In 2005, the family ended up in Watertown after moving from Oregon because Jeremy Johnson served at Fort Drum, Sharon Perkins said. Her son liked it here.

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