Salem Industrial (WAVE) – more than 100 years in prison. That’s what a woman defendant is facing in connection with the death of the five-year-old boy who was found in a suitcase in Indiana this spring.
Dawn Coleman, who was arrested in October in San Francisco, began to break down as her potential punishment was read out. It was Coleman’s first time in court after police identified Cairo Jordan as the five-year-old in the suitcase, and Coleman’s and Cairo’s mother were wanted for his murder.
For investigators one part of the case is over.
“Seeing her here on Indiana soil brings not resolution, but closure to this part of the case that we’ve brought back here in Indiana to answer charges,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Carrie Halls.
Coleman told officers shortly after her arrest that she had followed Dejaune Anderson around the country for a year and occasionally babysat in Cairo. After Anderson was released from the LMDC for burglary this spring, Coleman walked into a room in a house the three were staying at and found Anderson on top of her son. His face was on the bed below her, and Coleman told the police it was already done.
Garbage bags were already in the room, and Anderson asked Coleman to help bag Cairo’s body and then into Coleman’s bag in Las Vegas. Anderson put the bag in the car they drove and Coleman threw the bag that was carrying Cairo into the woods where it was found days later.
Washington Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock set Coleman’s bail at $5 million.
“It’s a very serious issue,” Halls said.
Prosecutors surprised Coleman by adding a murder charge to her case. In court, Coleman began to shiver when the new charge was read out. Tears stream down her face as Medlock reads the possible sentences… up to 40 years for negligence of a dependent causing death and up to 65 years for assisting in murder. Coleman, who is 40, could spend the rest of her life in prison.
“We still have another one out there that we’re confident we’ll find soon and bring back here as well,” Halls said.
Meanwhile, the police are still searching for Anderson.
“No one can hide forever, there could be little in history but only a few, so I’m confident we’ll find them or they’ll pop up on the radar somewhere,” Halls said.
Coleman pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors asked Medlock to be held without bail. He will review this proposal in December at the next hearing. The trial date is set for May.
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