Police: Woman confesses to her role in death of boy found stuffed in a Welcome to Las Vegas suitcase

Woman, 40, allegedly confesses to her role in death of boy, 5, found stuffed in a ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ suitcase – as mom, 37, remains on run in California

  • One of two women accused of killing a five-year-old boy and stuffing his body in a suitcase has allegedly confessed to her role in his death
  • Dawn Coleman, 40, was arraigned Monday on charges including aiding murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and obstruction of justice
  • Cairo Jordan, 5, was found stuffed in a ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ suitcase in April in a wooded area in Indiana 
  • Coleman was arrested in San Francisco, California, in October  
  • Cairo’s mother, Dejuane Anderson, 37, remains on the run in California 
  • An autopsy after the boy’s death revealed that he died from an electrolyte imbalance 

A woman who was charged for her role in the death of a five-year-old boy whose body was found in a suitcase in April has allegedly confessed after being arrested. 

Dawn Coleman, 40, was arrested in San Francisco, California, last month and was later transported to Indiana where she will face trial. 

Coleman has been charged with aiding murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and obstruction of justice in connection to the murder of Cairo Jordan, 5. 

Cairo’s body was found stuffed inside a ‘Welcome to Las Vegas‘ suitcase in Washington County, Indiana, in April. The boy’s mother, Dejaune Anderson, 37, is also wanted in connection to his death and remains on the run in California. 

Dawn Coleman, 40, was arrested in San Francisco on October 19 in connection to the death of five year old Cairo Jordan

Dawn Coleman, 40, was arrested in San Francisco on October 19 in connection to the death of five year old Cairo Jordan

Cairo's body was found in the suitcase by a mushroom hunter in a wooded area in April

Cairo’s body was found in the suitcase by a mushroom hunter in a wooded area in April

The five-year-old boy's body was found stuffed in this 'Welcome to Las Vegas' suitcase

The five-year-old boy’s body was found stuffed in this ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ suitcase

Cairo's mom, Dejaune Anderson, 37, remains on the run as of November 22

Cairo’s mom, Dejaune Anderson, 37, remains on the run as of November 22

Coleman pleaded not guilty for her role, despite allegedly telling investigators after her arrest that she had seen the boy’s mom put his face down into a bed while on top of him. 

The woman also allegedly said that she helped Anderson put Cairo’s body into the suitcase where he was eventually found and abandon it in the wooded area, according to WHAS.

Coleman, who appeared Monday in front of a Washington County judge,  started crying as her charges and potential sentences were read off. 

The neglect of a child resulting in death charge comes with 30 to 40 years while the charge of aiding in murder comes with 45 to 65 years behind bars, WHAS reported. 

Coleman, whose relationship to the young boy and his mother is unclear, also said in the affidavit that when she walked in on Anderson on top of Cairo, ‘it was already done.’ 

She also said that there were trash bags in the room and that she helped placed the boy’s body in the suitcase. 

An autopsy revealed that the young boy died from an electrolyte imbalance, possibly caused by viral gastroenteritis

An autopsy revealed that the young boy died from an electrolyte imbalance, possibly caused by viral gastroenteritis

Coleman claimed in a probable cause affidavit that she walked in on the boy's mother putting his head down into a mattress  and that 'it was already done' when she entered

Coleman claimed in a probable cause affidavit that she walked in on the boy’s mother putting his head down into a mattress  and that ‘it was already done’ when she entered

Fingerprints belonging to Anderson and Coleman were found on the trash bag after the fact.

‘No crime scene evidence technologies were spared in this case,’ Sgt. Carey Huls said in reference to the work done after the discovery of the boy’s body. 

Coleman is being held on $5 million bond and her trial is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2023.

After her arraignment Monday, Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls said that it has been an ’emotional’ process and that while they are not finished, it feels like the case is finally moving forward.

‘It is emotional,’ Huls told WHAS. ‘This is a case that everybody is watching and everybody has a stake in. If you have someone who you care about in your life, it is easy to understand why this is so emotional.’ 

Anderson has reportedly been spotted in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Houston

Anderson has reportedly been spotted in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Houston 

Before Cairo’s death, Anderson had made Facebook posts about her son needing to be exorcised and exhibiting ‘demonic’ traits. 

An autopsy concluded that the young boy had actually died from an electrolyte imbalance, likely from viral gastroenteritis. 

Cairo would have turned six on October 24. 

Cairo, seen here with a family member, would have turned six on October 24

Cairo, seen here with a family member, would have turned six on October 24

Before his death, Anderson had posted to her Facebook that her son needed to be 'exorcised'

Before his death, Anderson had posted to her Facebook that her son needed to be ‘exorcised’

Officials are still actively searching for Anderson, who was last seen in Los Angeles, near Echo Park. One report indicated that she had also traveled to San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas and Houston.

Huls also told WLKY in a recent interview that police have spent the last several weeks and months searching for Anderson. 

‘It’s an active investigation,’ Huls said. ‘A lot of work is going on behind the scenes that people don’t see happening, so we’re hopeful and we’re confident she will be found and she will be brought to justice.’

Huls said he is confident police will find her. 

Cairo's paternal grandmother said in an interview that 'words cannot explain the heartache everyone feels' over the young boy's death

Cairo’s paternal grandmother said in an interview that ‘words cannot explain the heartache everyone feels’ over the young boy’s death

Cairo’s paternal grandmother spoke with WSB-TV in Atlanta and urged Anderson to come forward and take accountability for what she did. 

‘She should turn herself in,’ the grandmother said. ‘She’s committed a crime. She needs to pay.’

The grandmother also said she and other families have spent the months since his death feeling ‘heartache’ and wondering if more could have been done. 

‘Words cannot explain the heartache everyone feels,’ she said. ‘And of course, we wish we would’ve been able to do more or do something.’ 

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