Woman who played role in death of 5-year-old found in suitcase sentenced

She was sentenced for her role in the death of 5-year-old Cairo Jordan, who was found in a suitcase in southern Indiana.
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 5:02 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 5:28 PM EST
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE/Gray News) - Washington Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock sentenced 41-year-old Dawn Coleman, of Louisiana, to 25 years in prison for her involvement in the death of a 5-year-old Atlanta boy.

The Indiana judge initially sentenced Coleman to 30 years in prison with the final five years of the term suspended to probation.

Coleman was sentenced Tuesday for her role in the death of Cairo Jordan, who was found in a suitcase in southern Indiana in April 2022. She was later arrested in San Francisco in October 2022.

In November, Coleman entered a plea agreement to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

“This crime impacted not only Washington County but became a nationwide story,” Washington County prosecutor Tara Hunt said. “The victim in this case was an innocent child who was barely 5 years old. It’s always tragic when a child’s life is taken. It’s incomprehensible when those who should be caring for the child are responsible.”

On Tuesday, Coleman was confronted by a statement from an emotional Judge Medlock.

“The walls of your jail cell for the next 25 years will be nothing compared to the walls of that suitcase,” Medlock said.

Cairo’s mother, Dejuane Anderson, is still on the run. She’s the one police believe is primarily responsible for his death.

Indiana State Police said Coleman and Anderson dumped the suitcase in the woods of Washington County. Coleman’s fingerprint was then identified on a black plastic bag containing Cairo’s body.

“We are committed to following this case through until the end,” Hunt said. “None of the law enforcement officers and agencies involved in this sad case will find closure until we have ensured Cairo’s mother is held accountable for her actions. This conviction is only the first step in obtaining justice for Cairo.”