Mom Accused of Killing a 5-Year-Old Chooses To Defend Herself in Court

( — The mother of the boy whose unidentified body was found stuffed inside a suitcase in Washington County, Indiana, two years ago was arraigned on Tuesday, WTHR reported.

Dejuane Ludie Anderson, 38, was arrested on March 14 in Arcadia, California, nearly two years after the suitcase containing her son’s body was discovered in a wooded area of rural Washington County in April 2022.

Police had been searching for Anderson since October 2022 after a Washington County judge issued a warrant for her arrest on charges of murder, child neglect resulting in death, and obstruction of justice.

Anderson was accused of killing her 5-year-old son, Cairo, in the Louisville area in April 2022. She then fled with her friend, Dawn Coleman. The pair dumped Cairo’s body in Washington County before continuing west.

The judge also issued a warrant for Coleman, who was later arrested.

Coleman told investigators that she found Anderson lying on top of the boy in their Louisville home but he was already dead. She admitted to helping Anderson place the boy’s body in the suitcase before they drove to Indiana, where they dumped him.

Coleman alleged that Anderson claimed that Cairo was possessed by demons.

Coleman was sentenced last November to 25 years in prison, while Anderson remained at large.

An autopsy of the boy determined that he died from dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting.

Investigators said at the time that the boy was likely dead less than a week before his body was found in a suitcase by a mushroom hunter on April 16, 2022.

While he remained unidentified, the community in Salem, Indiana, paid for a funeral and headstone for the boy, who was buried in June 2022. The headstone read, “In loving memory of a beloved little boy known but to God.”

During her arraignment on Tuesday, Anderson said she would represent herself at the trial. She identified herself by a different name and claimed that she represented an entity known as Dejuane Anderson.

Anderson requested to be released on bond, claiming that she was under “NSA surveillance” for the past 18 months and was accompanied by a Space Force detail wherever she went.

The judge denied her bond, explaining that her objection was not legal. He added that if the Space Force came forward, he would reconsider.

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