The family of a Georgia boy who was found dead in a suitcase is hoping to bring his remains back home so he can be buried close to his family.
A mushroom hunter discovered Cairo Jordan’s body in a woody area in southern Indiana in April. One woman has been arrested in connection with his death. His mother, Dejuane Anderson, is wanted on murder charges in connection with his death and is on the run.
Cairo’s father, Vincent C. Jordan, has started an online fundraiser for donations to cover the cost of transferring his son’s remains to Atlanta. Cairo’s family held a candlelight vigil for the boy on Sunday.
“Words can’t explain the pain I am feeling,” Jordan wrote on Facebook. “I would have never thought in a million years that I would have to experience such a thing as this.”
Authorities said Cairo died because of an electrolyte imbalance “most likely caused by gastroenteritis, which in common layman’s terms would be vomiting and diarrhea. And that resulted in dehydration.” Medical examiners did not find any physical trauma. Still, investigators said the boy’s mother and her alleged accomplice, Dawn Coleman wrote about performing an exorcism on a “demonic” child on social media.
Jeffrey Meredith was scouting the area near his home in Washington County when he spotted the carry-on size suitcase on April 16.
A “horrified” Meredith told WAVE Cairo’s eyeballs “was screaming to me, help. And the only thing I knew to do is to call 911. That’s the only way I knew to help him.”
However, he now feels a sense of peace after learning the 5-year-old boy’s name.
“Cairo. That’s the sweetest name I’ve ever heard in my life,” Meredith said with tears swelling his eyes. “He was a handsome fella, wasn’t he?”
“I can’t help but get emotional about him,” Meredith continued. “But I’m glad I found his name. Because I was so worried I would pass in my life without ever knowing that little fella’s name or where he was from. That was the most important thing in the world.”
Jordan said he is grateful that Meredith went into the woods that day and found his son.
“God sent you to my son Cario,” Jordan wrote to Meredith. “I know you were on another mission that day, but you were led on that path to find Cario.”
More than 100 members of the Indiana community where Cairo was found held a memorial service for him in May and laid his body to rest in a Salem cemetery. Community members have been visiting the grave leaving small toys and flowers behind to honor Cairo.
“The little cars. Somebody brought him a motorcycle,” said Yvonne Casey, who told WDRB that she visits the boy’s grave every day.
Casey has been in touch with Cairo’s family and has been trying to help find support for the fundraiser as well.
“He was just a happy little boy they said. Whenever they were around him, he was just happy, and he was full of energy,” Casey said.
Jordan would have to seek permission from the health department to exhume the boy’s body and then make arrangements to return his remains to Georgia. Until then, he plans to visit his grave later this month. He said Casey and those in the community who memorialized Cairo “all have a heart of gold.”
“The visuals, the ceremonies even his tombstone. My baby was loved as if he was one of your own,” Jordan said. “The love you all showed is a true definition of family, love and humanity. Cairo, my son, you have changed the lives of many people and will forever be in our hearts.”
Police arrested Coleman on Oct. 19 in San Francisco, California. She was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and obstruction of justice. Cairo would’ve turned 6 on Oct. 24.