For six months, the name of a boy discovered dead inside a suitcase dumped on the side of a road in southern Indiana remained unknown.
The child has been identified as 5-year-old Cairo Ammar Jordan of Atlanta, Georgia, according to Indiana State Police, putting an end to the months-long mystery.
Cairo’s paternal grandparents and great uncle told FOX59 that their family only found out about the news one day before the announcement. Cairo is described as a “sweet boy” who would have turned six this week.
“It hasn’t even been a full 24 hours and it still hasn’t really sunk in,” Cairo’s great uncle, Andrew Mayo, said.
A mushroom hunter discovered the boy’s body on April 16. He was discovered inside a Las Vegas-themed hard-shell suitcase about 80 feet off a dead-end road in rural Washington County, according to investigators.
ISP previously stated that the body belonged to a 5-year-old Black child with a slim build and short hair. An autopsy in May revealed that he died of “electrolyte imbalance,” most likely from “viral gastroenteritis.”
There were no significant traumatic injuries and no “anatomical cause of death,” according to an autopsy report. The toxicology results were negative.
Community members held vigils and a memorial service to honor the then-unnamed boy while investigators sought answers about his identity. He was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery in Salem, with a marker that reads, “In loving memory of a beloved little boy known only to God.” “I’m sleeping in Jesus’ arms.”
“Knowing that it’s been six months, reading these articles, seeing people come through in a different state who didn’t know him from a can of paint, it shows what humanity truly is,” Mayo said.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the people of Indiana who provided him with a proper burial.” That was very thoughtful of them, and we appreciate it,” said Cairo’s paternal grandmother, Kimberly Jordan.
The boy’s father’s family also wanted to thank investigators for their hard work and never giving up on figuring out who Cairo was.
The boy had never been reported missing and was not in a national database, according to ISP, which slowed the investigation. Despite receiving thousands of tips after establishing a hotline to generate leads into the child’s identity, investigators said fingerprints provided a significant break in the investigation.
According to police, forensic scientists obtained fingerprint matches on trash bags found with the suitcase from two people.
Dawn Elaine Coleman, 40, was arrested in San Francisco in connection with the investigation, according to police. The court documents are silent on Coleman’s relationship with Cairo.
A second person, the boy’s mother, Dejaune Ludie Anderson, 37, of Georgia, is still at large. Attempts to locate her have so far been unsuccessful, according to authorities.
Family members told FOX59 that they didn’t report Cairo missing because they didn’t realize he was in danger. They claim his mother had custody of Cairo and hadn’t seen him in years, despite attempts to contact her.
“At one point, we were in contact with her mother, and she would come by here on a regular basis, and we would ask where Dejaune was, and a lot of the time her mother didn’t know, or she told us she didn’t know. I knew she had told me she had been to Las Vegas at one point, but she’s also been a lot of places we had no idea she could have gone to,” Kimberly explained.
Kimberly stated that her son desired joint custody so that he could see Cairo.
“The next thing I knew, she was gone.” Because she’s always moving around, I didn’t think it was unusual at the time. “She’s never in one place, so she didn’t have an address to where we could actually go other than her mother’s house,” Kimberly explained. “When he did that, she tried to call the cops on him, making it extremely difficult for my son to see his child, to the point where he thought he had to go through the courts to do so.”
Despite the silence, the family said there were no major red flags about Anderson that would have given them any indication that Cairo’s welfare was in jeopardy.
“Had we known, we would have gladly taken him and brought him home with us.” There would have been no problems, no questions asked. “We would have taken him,” Kimberly said.
Family members expressed regret for not being able to assist sooner.
“She didn’t show any signs of being a bad mother that I could see,” Cairo’s paternal grandfather, Vincent Jordan, said. “It kind of blows your mind that this could happen.” She appeared to be a good mother.”
Kimberly told FOX59 that Anderson had another son, which was another reason they didn’t suspect anything was wrong.
“Even though she didn’t have custody of him, she made certain she fulfilled all of his wishes.” She phoned him every day and called him every day. They went on adventures together. “She was great with her other son,” Kimberly said. “We had no idea this could have been in the back of her mind, even the thoughts I’d heard about him being a demon.” She didn’t come across to us as a worshipper or anything related to evil, witchcraft, or anything of the sort.”
Anderson, who is wanted on a murder warrant in connection with her son’s death, stated on social media that she believed a demon lived inside him, according to court records.
Transcripts of social media posts show Anderson shared her belief that her son needed to be exorcised or killed on Facebook and Twitter between December 2021 and April 2022.
According to court documents, she wrote about hexes and curses, as well as “protection spells” and “reversal spells.” “I’m using my blood for this ritual,” she wrote in a post on January 5, 2022.
Cairo’s uncle expressed regret that anyone who was friends with Anderson on social media and noticed any red flags should have alerted authorities. Cairo’s death, he says, could have been avoided.
“It only takes one person, and I’ve done it before by informing people I know on social media that I’m here.” “I don’t always get a response, but it’s the fact that I tried to say, ‘even though we’re not that close, I see what you’re going through, so if you need anything or to talk, I can help you in that way,'” Mayo explained.
“That could have saved Cairo, it could have saved his mother, we could have brought him back to Georgia, we could have helped him in any way he needed, but the thing is, if she didn’t ask for it, it’s more like she ran away from all her problems.” Your problems can be solved if you seek assistance. “We’re now one family member short,” Mayo explained.
“Keep an eye out if you see someone in trouble. Don’t walk away until you’ve said something. That could mean the difference between life and death,” Kimberly explained.
Cairo was described by family members as a happy child who enjoyed playing with dinosaurs when he was younger.
“I don’t think he had many kids around him to play with.” “I wish he could have met his cousins and aunts and uncles, but we didn’t get that far,” Kimberly said. “I’d have liked to know what kind of person he would have become.” What he’ll look like when he’s 15, 20, and 30. There are many things that we will miss.”
Cairo’s family expressed their desire for him to grow up to be a football player like his father or to go hunting with his grandfather.
“It’s one of those things that you kind of pass down.” “You want to see your son do what you do and teach them what you want to teach them, and it was cut short,” Mayo explained.
Cairo’s paternal grandparents stated that he leaves behind several siblings whom he never had the opportunity to get to know well.
“He has siblings, brothers and sisters who didn’t get a chance to know him and won’t get a chance to know him,” Mayo explained. “No parent, especially at this age, should have to bury a child.”
Anderson had previous run-ins with the law, including an arrest for child endangerment in South Carolina, according to investigators. According to court documents, she led police on a chase in March, going 92 mph in a 60-mph zone with Cairo in the car. Coleman, who is being held in connection with this case, was present.