In a horrible and tragic turn of events, the lifeless body of a toddler who was the subject of an AMBER Alert was found Tuesday dumped in a wooded area not far from his house in Largo, Florida. A state task force, local police, family and friends had been searching for Jordan Belliveau since Sunday.
His mother, Charisse Denae Stinson, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder, a capital felony, and aggravated child abuse in the death of her 25-month-old son. She’s being held in the Pinellas County jail.
She appeared before a judge today via video and was held without bail.
After being charged with murdering her baby, it’s revealed she is pregnant, as can be seen in video, and on a ‘Justice for Jordan” community Facebook page that shares messages between Stinson and another woman, Stinson admits she’s pregnant. Heavy located a baby shower registry for Stinson with a due date of December 2018.
In a police report posted Wednesday, Stinson told detectives Jordan “had an unexplained serious injury to his right leg” and the “during a moment of frustration she admitted she struck him in the face with the back of her hand which in turn caused the back of his head to strike an interior wall of her home. After the blow to the head the victim suffered from seizures during the night which led to further decline resulted in his death.” This happened at around 1:30 a.m., police said. She then took his body to a wooded area near a sports field not far from her apartment complex and dumped his body.
Tuesday night, three days after his disappearance, family members stood by crime scene tape as they learned the child was dead. A short time later, officials made a brief and emotional statement: the 30-pound, brown-haired and brown-eyed boy whose face had been emblazoned across TV and phone screens for days was dead in a wooded area adjacent to a sports field. Crime scene tape and a helicopter whirling overhead as the area braced for a storm. There felt a despondency that transcended technology.
Later that night, local media WFLA captured video, albeit obscured, of the young woman now charged with murder in the first degree. In Florida law, the murder in the first degree capital felony is punishable by death. The prosecutor will have 45 days to say if s/he’s seeking death as opposed to life in prison without the chance for parole, and provide aggravating circumstances in asking for the extreme penalty.
As police continue the investigation, there’s so much to the story about the little boy whose AMBER notification lit up hundreds of thousands of phones across Florida and beyond Sunday morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stinson Concocted a Story That She & Jordan Had Taken a Ride From a Stranger, She Was Hit & Knocked Out & Jordan Was Abducted
According to Charisse Stinson’s story to police, she was walking from her apartment complex at 9:30 p.m. Saturday to a friend’s house carrying 2-year-old son Jordan when she took a ride from a man she did not know. While in the car, she fought with the man, who she later told police was named “Antwon,” and she said he punched her in the face.
She said she awoke in a wooded area of Largo’s Central Park at around 1:30 a.m. around four hours after getting in the car. She could not find her son and, police said, walked to a nearby motel and called for help. Largo Police responded and said they searched the park and the area and found no sign of Jordan.
Police acted on the belief that the boy may have been abducted by the man she called “Antwon” in a white 2010 Toyota Camry. Late Monday afternoon, police released a composite sketch of “Antwon.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued the Amber Alert Sunday morning for the “endangered” two-feet, six-inch boy described as last wearing a blue shirt emblazoned with the number 72, blue gym shorts with a black and white stripe, black socks and black and white Nike’s, authorities said.
Jordan also had a “partially healed cut” under his chin, police said and a birthmark on the right side of his abdomen, police said. Later it would be learned that Stinson claimed the boy fell in the tub and that’s how he got the chin injury.
Regardless, given police have charged her with murdering her child, it’s now clear that her “Antwon” story was just that, a story. But she told cops he was a black male, around 25, with brown hair, brown eyes, gold teeth and dreadlocks, wearing a white tank top and black AND1 basketball shorts.
Sunday the search for little Jordan began, and for a man with dreads and gold teeth in a Camry.
2. Police Used K-9s, Dive Teams & Were Joined by Family & Friends as They Searched for Days in Woods, Ponds & Wetlands
Sunday turned into Monday and there were no leads on “Antwon.” Meanwhile, police divers, K9 units and community search teams looked for the boy with a focus on bodies of water.
Largo Police Major Stephen Slaughter said then, “…a toddler can find his way on those pretty easily, so we want to make sure we look at all this.” Police searched waters and Dumpsters near the child’s home.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office dive teams were in a pond searching the area around the mother and son’s apartment complex. Slaughter said teams would also be searching nearby swamps and ponds. It’s rainy season in Florida and wetlands – swamps and ponds – are full.
Early Monday afternoon, another update but with no real news.
“Efforts continue to locate Jordan Belliveau (age 2). Pictured below is Jordan’s photo. Also included is a photo of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office dive team assisting in checking area lakes (a standard procedure in these cases) and a picture of Chief Undestad, Major Seale, and Investigations Lieutenant Block meeting after the 11AM briefing near the Department’s Mobile Command Post.
“If he was taken by an individual at a location we need to look everywhere …” Slaughter said the mother, Charisse Stinson, who has minor injuries from the altercation she described with “Antwan,” is “okay and has been very cooperative.”
When asked why she would get into a car late at night with someone unknown to her, Slaughter said she claimed her son was too heavy to carry.
Reporters pressed Slaughter on why dive teams and K9s were searching the immediate area of the child’s apartment complex.
“We know he was here. He lives here. Then got in a car,” Slaughter said explaining the area where the mother said she awoke, a densely wooded section of the Central Park area of Largo, was already searched, and, it was standard procedure to check all the child’s whereabouts, including the ponds and swamps behind his house.
A ‘Where is Jordan Belliveau’ Facebook group organized by Jordan’s uncle has been searching for the toddler for days.
This page and post has since been removed from Facebook.
Stephon Davis posted, “I am the uncle of Jordan Bellevue I am the brother of Joe Cartel today I will be doing the walk from Largo Park to the nearest parks in the area it’s at least three parks in the area I asked ima asking community to come out and help me look for my nephew if anybody in the Community I would like to come out and help please feel free to inbox me or call my cell phone at 813 735 3588 if anybody would like to bring waters to donate for during the walk please feel free if the community help search my nephew and people speak up we can have him home so I’m asking everybody and they Mama them please come out and help me find my nephew please come show my brother your support at this time of need,” he wrote.
“I’ll be at Largo Park around 3:30 2 day so if anybody would like to meet up with me please let me know once again you know Uncle of Jordan Bellevue the brother of the father thank you very much for all your support we’re still still currently trying to find my nephew so if you like to meet up with me today please feel free to inbox me I will be releasing another number later thank you so much and have a blessed day….”
3. Though Police Initially Said She Appeared to Have Been Injured, Was at the Park & Was Cooperative, Stinson’s Family & Others Began Questioning Her Story
Some people said they don’t believe Stinson’s story. But Stinson appears, on social media, to be adoring of her son. Though the video, which was set to music was deleted along with Stinson’s Facebook page late Tuesday afternoon. Heavy did manage to take a few screen-grabs before the page was shuttered.
Jordan’s great-grandmother told local media she was also not sure about the story.
“He is beautiful, he’s a beautiful little boy, he is playful, he is loving, he is a good child,” Lorie Moore was quoted as saying by WRAL.
Since police began searching waterways, lakes, ponds and swamps around the woman’s home, some said her story is not plausible and question why a man who allegedly abducts a child would return the child to his home to “dump” the child’s body.
One commenter on the Facebook live video police conference said, “I’m sad & ??, they’ve been behind my house checking water access ways since last night. And were here early this morning with K9’S.”
Others were not convinced that the mom’s story was credible. As posted to Facebook: “The mom sure remembers a lot about the car, driver, details of the car, but conveniently nothing else about her kid and was unconscious for 4 hours? Suspicious!”
4. Stinson’s Story Began to Fall Apart as Her Criminal Record, Domestic Violence History & Blood-Stained ‘Items’ Found in Her Apartment Became Part of the Investigation
By late Monday, with a composite sketch out of “Antwon” and a search of waterways yielding no clues, police revealed they’d found bloody clothing and items inside the apartment the toddler shared with his mother. Local media reports said Stinson may have been facing eviction and was borrowing money for food.
What is also now known is that Stinson and Jordan’s father, Jordan Belliveau Sr., 22, both have criminal records and in particular, on charges of domestic violence. Indeed a history that goes back to early 2017.
Both faced domestic batter charges in 2017, Belliveau a felony charge and Stinson a misdemeanor. She also was charged with violating a protective order, court records show.
Three weeks ago, court records show, Belliveau was arrested and charged with domestic battery again for allegedly striking Stinson.
According to WFLA, Bellieau brought the boy back to his mother after a visitation and “she told him she didn’t want the child ‘yet’ and an altercation ensued.”
Belliveau also has a record that includes a 2015 misdemeanor resisting arrest charge and a felony burglary case. Also in 2015, he had a disorderly conduct arrest. The January 2017 arrest was for felony battery, felony domestic-related aggrvated assault with a deadly weapon, court records show.
WFLA reported Tuesday that the domestic violence cases and a “recent investigation by child protective investigators are part of the missing child inquiry.”
“At this point, all factors are considered all factors are reviewed,” Slaughter was quoted as saying.
Police said Belliveau had an alibi. They said Stinson was cooperating, according to the report.
Investigators said surveillance video confirmed Stinson’s location when she walked to Largo Central Park and that she required medical assistance. She was treated at Bayfront Hospital, authorities said. But apparently that was staged as now seems clear with her arrest, police said.
Police were hoping video from a 7-11that shows a man there at 12:19 a.m. Saturday who “may have spoken with Jordan’s mother on the night the child went missing” and cops want to speak with him. Police have also asked people in the area should “check their yards, sheds, wooded areas, and anywhere on their properties where a small child might hide.”
From the beginning, police have asked for the public’s help. Since, they have received some 70 tips and are waiting for that one that will help them find Jordan.
Slaughter had asked for anyone who might know the boy’s whereabouts contact authorities or if they are able, “take him to a safe place …any fire station, a library … no questions asked. Just drop Jordan off. We need Jordan.”
5. Stinson Could Face the Death Penalty or Life Without Parole if Convicted of First-Degree Murder. Jordan Had Been in Foster Care for Most of His 25 Months of Life. His Grief-stricken Foster Parents Spoke Out
Largo police said that there were numerous law enforcement departments involved in the search that was coordinated as part of the Florida Child Abduction Response Team. The FDLE, Largo police, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Clearwater Police Department, the Treasure Island Police Department, the Pasco County Sheriff’s K9 unit, the Sarasota Police Department’s search and rescue unit, the Largo Public Works department and family and friends and volunteers.
Jordan’s grandmother Jessica Belliveau was frantic with worry for days and asked for people to please help then find Jordan.
Meanwhile, Jordan’s father told the Tampa Bay Times he was suspicious of his ex-girlfriend’s story from the beginning. The Tampa Bay Times has an extensive interview with him and members of his family and includes text messages between the two very young parents where they go back and forth. He asks where the boy is. She says she does not know. He does not believe her: “I kno u kno where he is. Can u please tell me man.” She says she does not know. She said she woke up in an ambulance and was “trying my best to tell them everything I know.” Then, the paper reported, texted: “I’m blaming myself for this shit” and said Jordan “needed to eat.” She asked Belliveau to “…stay positive and pray because he’s gonna come I’m doing my best to remember everything.”
For days, grandmothers and aunts, uncles and cousins, friends and neighbors hoped for the best. The tragic death had even the hardened cops at at Tuesday night presser tearing up; searchers who’d been looking since Sunday to find the boy lying dead all that time in the woods not a five minute walk from his home.
And Tuesday night, Jordan’s 21-year-old mother was in jail facing life in prison or death, should she be convicted, for his murder.
Sam and Juliet Warren, who were foster parents to Jordan from January of 2017, when he was around six months old, until May of 2018, when he was 21 months old. He spent most of his life with the Warren family. It’s where he learned to crawl, walk and talk, Sam Warren said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. The boy was returned to his mother less than four months ago.
“Jordan was filled with joy,” Sam Warren said. “We are devastated by his loss. But for a court order he would still be safe in our home.”
Warren said that Jordan was failed by the system and failed by many other people close to him.
“We hope that Jordan’s loss will lead to the change that is needed to protect other endangered children in the system. Jordan was failed by the system. He was failed by many people that cold have protected him but didn’t. Promises that were made to us about how he would be protected after his return were broken.”