Mom of 5-year-old found dead in suitcase makes bizarre court appearance after arrest in Arcadia

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Thursday, April 4, 2024
Mom of boy, 5, found dead in suitcase ordered held without bond
Dejaune Anderson, who is accused of murdering her son and stuffing his body in a suitcase, made a bizarre court appearance Tuesday, claiming she's been under federal surveillance for months before she was recently arrested in Arcadia.

ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) -- The woman accused of murdering her son and stuffing his body in a suitcase heard the charges against her in court on Tuesday.

Dejaune Anderson was ordered held without bond during her court appearance, in which she made bizarre claims about how she was under federal surveillance for several months before her capture.

Anderson, 38, was arrested last month in Arcadia. She is charged with murder, neglect and obstruction of justice in the death of 5-year-old Cairo Ammar Jordan, whose body was discovered by a mushroom hunter in April 2022 in a rural area of Washington County, Indiana.

A warrant for her arrest was issued months after the incident, and she spent two years on the run.

A boy found in a suitcase in Indiana has been identified as Cairo Jordan. An arrest warrant has been issued for his mom, Dejaune Anderson, for murder.

"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. She 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 little boy's 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.