Guilty Plea in Case of 5-Year-Old Boy Found Dead in Suitcase

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. – A woman involved in the disposal of a young boy’s body in southern Indiana has been sentenced this week. Dawn Coleman admitted her role in dumping a suitcase containing the child’s remains and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. Washington Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Coleman to 30 years, with 5 years suspended to probation.

The case made headlines in April 2022, when the body of a young boy was discovered by a mushroom hunter in Washington County. The boy, who was initially unidentified, was later determined to be 5-year-old Cairo Ammar Jordan. Authorities circulated a photo of the suitcase where the boy’s remains were found, leading to a lengthy investigation to find those responsible for his death.

According to court documents, Cairo was believed to have been killed at a home in Louisville, Kentucky. Coleman stated to investigators that she witnessed Cairo’s mother, Dejaune Ludie Anderson, on top of him in a bedroom, and said she found him already dead. She admitted to helping Anderson place his body in a trash bag before placing it inside the suitcase.

An autopsy revealed that Cairo died due to an “electrolyte imbalance” most likely attributed to a “viral gastroenteritis.” It was also revealed that Anderson believed her son was possessed and needed to be killed or exorcised. Following Coleman’s arrest, investigators discovered evidence of her involvement, including a fingerprint found inside the suitcase.

Coleman’s sentencing is the first step in obtaining justice for Cairo, according to Washington County Prosecutor Tara Hunt, who emphasized the commitment of law enforcement to hold Anderson accountable for her actions. Anderson remains at large, and the efforts to bring her to justice are ongoing.