One of two women accused in the murder of the Indiana boy found stuffed in a suitcase last spring has been charged — and confessed to her role in the gruesome killing, authorities said.
Dawn Coleman, 40, of Louisiana, was charged on Monday with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and obstruction of justice, according to WLKY. On her behalf, the judge entered a not guilty plea.
Coleman was apprehended in San Francisco on Oct. 19, just days before authorities publicly identified the remains of Cairo Jordan, 5, who were discovered in a suitcase in the woods of Washington County in April. He died of a “electrolyte imbalance,” possibly caused by the stomach flu, according to an initial autopsy.
Jordan’s mother, Dejuane Anderson, is also wanted in connection to his death, and remains on the lam. Prior to her son’s death, she made Facebook posts about him being demonic and needing to be exorcised.
“To have at least this much moving forward, to have somebody in custody and let the justice system move forward with that, it’s a big deal,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls told WLKY of Coleman’s arrest. She is being held without bond.
Coleman’s relationship to Anderson or Jordan has not been revealed by police.
Coleman confessed to investigators that she saw Anderson pin Jordan down with his face in a mattress, according to a probable cause affidavit. Coleman is accused of assisting Anderson in loading the child’s body into the suitcase and abandoning it in the woods.
Both women’s fingerprints were also found on trash bags in the distinctive “Las Vegas” suitcase, which was also identified in photos on Coleman’s Facebook profile.
Huls confirmed to WLKY that investigators were scouring the country for Anderson, who was last seen in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles.
“It’s an active investigation,” he 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.”