WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. — Cairo Ammar Jordan should have celebrated his sixth birthday on Monday.
Instead, Indiana state police officials announced Wednesday morning that the Atlanta boy has been identified as the child whose body was found stuffed into a suitcase last spring in a wooded area of southern Indiana.
Cairo’s mother, Dejuane Ludie Anderson, 37, of Atlanta, is now being sought in connection with the boy’s death. Authorities said her last known location was in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles but that she had recently traveled to San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas and Houston.
The boy’s paternal grandmother, whose name was withheld by WSB-TV in Atlanta, urged Anderson to surrender.
“She should turn herself in,” the woman told the news station. “She’s committed a crime. She needs to pay.”
Another woman, Dawn Elaine Coleman, 40, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was arrested last week in San Francisco, where she remained jailed Thursday on a fugitive warrant. Both Coleman and Anderson were charged earlier this month with obstruction of justice and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
A second arrest warrant was issued Tuesday charging Anderson with her son’s murder.
Autopsy results released in May indicated that Cairo died of an electrolyte imbalance due to dehydration stemming from a likely stomach virus. No drugs were found in his system and the autopsy report, which was obtained by Fox 59 in Indianapolis, stated that there was an “absence of significant traumatic injuries.”
Indiana state police Sgt. Carey Huls said Wednesday that it was a “bittersweet day.”
“No matter what progress is made, what happens in the case, we’re still dealing with the tragic death of a precious young child,” Huls said during a news conference.
Watch Wednesday’s news conference about the death of Cairo Jordan below.
In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Cairo’s father, Vincent C. Jordan, wrote earlier this week about the pain of learning his son was the young boy found in Indiana six months ago. Jordan said he had been searching for his son for the past three years.
“She took him away at the beginning of our custody battle back in 2017,” he wrote of Anderson. “She threatened to call the police on me for coming to pick him up on an agreed weekend. She never showed up in court, and it’s killing me because that weekend is the last time I seen my baby boy.”
Jordan described the phone call from police as a parent’s worst nightmare.
“Choose your mate wisely, y’all,” he cautioned. “It’s deeper than just baby mama/baby daddy drama.”
A discovery in the woods
The investigation began the evening of April 16 when a mushroom hunter named Jeff Meredith called 911 to report finding a suitcase in a heavily wooded area off Holder Road in rural Washington County. The suitcase, which was about 80 feet into the woods, could be seen from the roadway.
Meredith opened the hard-shell suitcase, which contained a pillow sitting atop a closed black trash bag, authorities wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
“He ripped open the trash bag and found what he described as being a young, Black, male child,” the document states.
Meredith told WHAS in Louisville what that moment was like for him.
“When I first saw that little feller’s face, it was like he was screaming ‘help’ to me,” Meredith said. “The only help I know to get is to call 911, and I did.”
Listen to Jeff Meredith speak about finding Cairo Jordan’s body below, courtesy of WHAS.
The suitcase that held the boy’s body had a distinctive Las Vegas design on the front and back. “Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada,” the front of the case read.
“Investigators hope this image will lead to more specific tips and the identification of the child,” troopers said at the time.
Those hopes were dashed over the next several months.
“No family members, witnesses or acquaintances came forward to identify the boy or provide any information,” police officials said in a news release. “Leads from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also proved unsuccessful, as well as tips called in by the general public.”
The community of Salem buried the boy in a cemetery there in June. His headstone, which has space for his name to be added someday, reads, “In loving memory of a beloved little boy known but to God.”
As the days and weeks passed, however, investigators, crime scene technicians and state police lab personnel worked with the physical evidence.
“No crime scene evidence technologies were spared in this investigation by the Indiana State Police, including those available only through federal and outside agencies,” Huls said. “We utilized everything we could.”
It would ultimately be fingerprints on the trash bags in the suitcase that led detectives to the suspects.
On June 29, fingerprints from two of the bags were matched to Anderson, Detective Matt Busick wrote in the arrest affidavit.
The following month, additional prints were matched to Coleman.
Busick began investigating Anderson, who he discovered owned a business called Ashley Logistics Corp. in Atlanta. She was listed as the business’ CEO, and her young son was named as the secretary.
That son was Cairo.
The detective learned that Anderson had been arrested in March following a 30-mile car chase in South Carolina that ended only when she ran out of gas. In the car with her were Coleman and Cairo.
Neither woman listened to commands after the chase ended and troopers had to break the back driver’s side window to gain entry into the car, the affidavit states.
Anderson was charged with failure to stop for police, child endangerment and speeding over 25 miles per hour. Coleman and Cairo were taken to a motel and instructed on how to reach Anderson in the Colleton County jail.
She was arrested again March 31 in Louisville, Kentucky, where she was accused of stealing merchandise from a Von Maur store.
“When stopped, Anderson became violent and punched the security officer in the face,” Busick wrote.
Again, Cairo was in the custody of Coleman while his mother was behind bars, the detective determined.
‘A full-grown demon’
A review of social media accounts belonging to Anderson turned up several photos of her son, whose appearance matched photos taken of the unidentified boy at the time of his autopsy, Busick wrote.
A look at Coleman’s Facebook account turned up photos of a Las Vegas-themed suitcase identical to the one in which the boy’s body had been found.
As Busick continued poring over social media, he discovered some disturbing posts on Facebook accounts linked to both Anderson and Coleman. In February, Anderson wrote of raising her “frequency” and healing herself and her ancestors.
The goal was to “exorcism a very powerful demonic force from within (her) son,” the affidavit states.
Read the affidavit for Dawn Coleman’s arrest below.
She wrote again of demons the following month.
“Stop getting caught up in the vessels of this realm,” the post read. “You guys get caught up with how old the body is, if they adult and kids, etc. Don’t even know it’s a full-grown demon in the child body telling you what to do because you didn’t choose your soul. Better start using your third eye.”
A few days later, Anderson wrote that she “can’t wait to tell this story.”
“About that exorcism. A book about living with a demonic child. And a podcast,” she wrote, according to Busick.
Coleman also wrote about demons on her account, warning people to not let the “avatars” fool them. On April 8, she wrote that nothing is what it seems and that people are “catering to evil beings in children avatars that aren’t even children.”
Evil beings pick avatars to hide behind in order to steal energy and ruin lives, she stated.
“You better check to see if the children that you think are children actually have souls, or if they’re not (malevolent) beings with a soul and in a child avatar,” she wrote.
Most children aren’t even children, Coleman wrote on April 10, the day before Anderson was released from the Jefferson County jail.
The day she was released, Anderson wrote that she “just got out of a jail mission. Yes, had to do some healing and killing.”
On Twitter the following day, April 12, Anderson tagged a priest in a post stating she needed to speak to him urgently.
“I have survived the death attacks from my 5-year-old throughout the five years he has been alive,” she tweeted. “I have been able to weaken his powers through our blood. I have his real name and he is 100 years old. Need assistance.”
Four days later, Cairo’s body was found in the Indiana woods.
Busick wrote in the affidavit that cellphone records for both Anderson and Coleman place them on Holder Road, near where the suitcase was dumped, between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. on April 14.
Surveillance footage from a nearby residence shows a vehicle stopping in that same area around 4:53 p.m. that day.
On April 15, after authorities believe Cairo was already dead, Anderson again wrote of the demon.
“This is a whole demon in a child body,” she wrote on Facebook. “Why you think she need a cigarette?! Losing energy huh!
“Sixty-four years old in a child body. Was full of gifts and (magical) rites stronger than many of you because your frequency not high enough. Start asking spirit to reveal these things to you hiding behind a body.”
The next day, shortly after her son’s body was discovered in the woods, cameras on Interstate 65 captured Anderson’s Challenger traveling south over the bridge from Jeffersonville, Indiana, to Louisville.
Cairo’s loved ones are left in mourning over his death, as are members of the Indiana community that has come to love him like one of its own. Meredith sat on his porch Wednesday, eyes filling with tears as he talked to a reporter from WAVE in Louisville.
“I can’t help but get emotional about him,” Meredith said. “But I’m glad I found his name. Because I was so worried I would pass in my life without ever knowing that little fella’s name or where he was from. That was the most important thing in the world.”
Meredith mused on the boy’s name.
“Cairo is the sweetest name I believe I’ve ever heard in my life. That’s the truth. Wow,” Meredith told the news station. “He was a handsome little fella, wasn’t he?”
Now Meredith hopes to see justice done for the child. He told WHAS that it bothers him to know someone “would have the audacity” to throw the child’s body into the woods like discarded trash.
“I just wish he was taken care of properly before this happened,” Meredith said. “Before they threw him away.”
Justice for the slain boy is the priority for law enforcement officials, as well.
“This whole case is about justice for Cairo,” Huls said Wednesday. “That’s the only thing this case has ever been about.”
Indiana police officials describe Anderson as a Black woman standing about 5 feet, 5 inches in height and weighing about 135 pounds. She has short, dark brown hair but is known to often wear wigs or hair extensions.
Anyone who sees Anderson or has current information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the local police department with jurisdiction at that location, authorities said. Tipsters with information about Cairo Jordan’s death are also urged to contact Indiana police officials at the dedicated tip line established for the case.
That number is 1-888-437-6432.
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