Mother arrested almost 2 years after boy’s body found in suitcase

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LOS ANGELES — Almost two years after her 5-year-old son’s body was found in a suitcase along an Indiana highway, the mother wanted on a murder warrant was arrested in California, police said Friday.

Dejaune Ludie Anderson has been sought since a warrant was issued in October 2022 for her arrest in the death of Cairo Jordan.

Months earlier, an Indiana mushroom hunter found a suitcase that held the remains of her son Cairo, officials have said. The Las Vegas-themed suitcase was discovered in a wooded area along a road in rural Washington County in April 2022.

Anderson was arrested Thursday night in Arcadia, California, a city east of Los Angeles, Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls said at a news conference.

“It’s still a sorrowful, a somber moment in the investigation,” Huls said. “But it’s a thing we’ve looked forward to and anticipated for almost two years now.”

In October 2022, a Washington County judge issued an arrest warrant for Anderson on charges of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and obstruction of justice.

boy in suitcase case murder
A makeshift memorial for Cairo Jordan.WAVE

A warrant was also issued for another woman, Dawn Coleman, who was later arrested, convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but Anderson remained on the loose.

That changed this week after an Indiana State Police detective “received information from a concerned citizen,” that eventually led to Anderson’s arrest in Arcadia, Huls said.

Anderson was being held in a Los Angeles jail Friday, Huls said. It was not clear Friday night if she had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Authorities will seek to bring Anderson back to Indiana to face charges.

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection to the death of Cairo, Huls said.

Huls called Cairo’s death “tragic and horrific.”

The child’s body was found inside a closed hard case suitcase with a distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back.
The child’s body was found inside a closed hard case suitcase with a distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back.Indiana State Police

Huls said that detectives worked tirelessly and that police were confident that Anderson would one day be arrested.

“To have the break, the information that they needed — that we knew would come. We did know that this day was going to come,” he said.

Coleman, the other woman charged, was arrested in 2022 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. She was sentenced in November to 25 years in prison.

An autopsy found that Cairo died from vomiting and diarrhea that led to dehydration, state police have said.

The boy was buried in Indiana, and the community gave him a funeral and a headstone, Huls said.

“There’s still flowers to this day that are placed at his gravesite, and people praying for him and his family,” Huls said.

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