Woman who assisted in death of 5-year-old found in suitcase sentenced 30 years

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 9:20 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 11:40 AM EST
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Washington Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock sentenced 41-year-old Dawn Coleman of Louisiana to 30 years in prison.

The last five years will be served under probation, meaning she’ll be in prison for 25 years.

Coleman was sentenced on Tuesday for her role in the death of 5-year-old Cairo Jordan, who was found dead 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 Level 1 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 five 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, DeJaune Anderson, is still on the run. She’s the one police believe is primarily responsible for his death.

ISP 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.”

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