SELLERSBURG, Ind. – A months-long mystery involving a little boy found dead inside a suitcase in southern Indiana has been solved.
Indiana State Police revealed Wednesday that they’ve identified the child as 5-year-old Cairo Ammar Jordan of Atlanta, Georgia.
Police said one person, 40-year-old Dawn Elaine Coleman, was arrested in San Francisco in connection with the case. She’s from Louisiana. The boy’s mother, identified as 37-year-old Dejaune Ludie Anderson, remains at large. She’s from Georgia. Attempts to locate her have been unsuccessful so far.
Both were wanted on charges of neglect of a dependent and obstruction of justice, with the warrants being issued on Oct. 14. A subsequent murder warrant for Anderson was issued on Oct. 25, according to Sgt. Carey Huls with Indiana State Police.
Huls described the announcement as a “bittersweet day,” as investigators are relieved they’re moving toward resolution in the case while lamenting the death of 5-year-old Cairo.
Anderson was last known to be in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, California. She has also been to Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Huls said. Anderson remains at large.
Indiana State Police have coordinated with several other agencies, including authorities in California and Georgia, as they’ve worked to piece together what happened. The case also utilized federal resources.
Huls said physical evidence led them to identify the suspects as well as the 5-year-old boy. Police used just about every tool at their disposal to investigate the boy’s death, he said. Cairo would have turned 6 on Monday, Huls said.
The case has baffled investigators since April 16, 2022, when a mushroom hunter in a heavily wooded area of Washington County came across a suitcase containing the body of a young boy.
The mushroom hunter called 911, kicking off the months-long investigation. The suitcase had a prominent Las Vegas logo on it; investigators went through several missing persons cases in an attempt to find a match.
Cairo had never been reported missing and wasn’t in a national database, police said.
Indiana State Police had previously said the body was that of a Black child who was approximately 5 years old with a slim build and short hair. In May, an autopsy found he died due to “electrolyte imbalance” most likely from a “viral gastroenteritis.”
There was a lack of significant traumatic injuries and no “anatomical cause of death,” according to the autopsy report. Toxicology results came back negative.
ISP received thousands of tips after setting up a hotline hoping to generate leads about the child’s identity.
Mourners gathered in June for a memorial service in memory of the then-unnamed child, whom they called “Angel” at the time. He was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Salem with a marker bearing the image of an angel and the inscription, “In loving memory of a beloved little boy known but to God. Asleep in the arms of Jesus.”