NATIONAL NEWS

Mother of boy found dead in suitcase in southern Indiana ordered held without bond

Apr 2, 2024, 3:05 PM

SALEM, Ind. (AP) — The mother of a 5-year-old Atlanta boy whose body was found in a suitcase in Indiana in 2022 was ordered held without bond Tuesday during a strange initial court appearance in which she claimed she was under federal surveillance for several months before her capture.

Dejaune Anderson, 38, is charged with murder, neglect and obstruction of justice in the death of Cairo Ammar Jordan, whose body was discovered by a mushroom hunter in April 2022 in a wooded area some 35 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

U.S. Marshals arrested Anderson arrested last month in California after she had been nearly two years on the run.

“I’ve been under NSA surveillance for the past eight months,” Anderson told Washington County Circuit Judge Larry Medlock, “and how can that qualify me as a fugitive on the run when I’ve also had a detail from Space Force that was following my every move?”

“If Space Force comes forward and tells me they’re willing to monitor you,” Medlock replied, “we’ll take up the issue of bond at a later time.”

When Medlock initially asked Anderson to identify herself, she replied with another name, beginning with “Princess,” and said she was “representing the entity” of Anderson, local news outlets reported.

Anderson asked to represent herself, but Medlock said he’ll ask someone from the public defender’s office to represent her.

Anderson is due back in court on April 25, with a tentative trial date scheduled for August.

An autopsy found that Cairo died from vomiting and diarrhea that led to dehydration, state police said. Investigators said the boy had died about a week or less before the mushroom hunter came upon the body.

A second woman charged in the case reached a plea deal with prosecutors in November.

Dawn Coleman, 41, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced to 30 years in prison with five years suspended to probation after pleading guilty to aiding, inducing or causing murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and obstruction of justice.

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Mother of boy found dead in suitcase in southern Indiana ordered held without bond