The foster family that was forced to give up Jordan Belliveau months before he was found dead have now taken in Jordan's younger sister.
The foster parents, Sam and Juliet Warren, are working toward adoption, the couple announced Friday in a statement. It's a move that puts them in direct contention with the baby's father, who also wants custody.
"Last fall we were broken by the death of a child we loved dearly," the Warrens' statement said. "As the fall continued, the question of what would happen to Jordan's little sister began to weigh on us. We knew that Charisse would not be able to care for her. After much prayer, we approached Charisse about allowing us to adopt the baby, and she agreed."
Jordan's father, also named Jordan Belliveau, had filed a petition for paternity of Serenity in court, and is seeking custody of the baby.
Belliveau and his family couldn't be reached Friday, though his lawyer said Serenity belongs with her father.
"The child has a good father," said Jawdet Rubaii, Belliveau's lawyer in the paternity case. "My client is a reasonable person who just wants to have his child and wants to take care of his child properly."
The Warrens characterization of how they obtained Serenity contradicts a court document that Stinson signed just days after birth. In that document, she confirms Belliveau is Serenity's father and asks that Belliveau be granted custody.
The Warrens declined to answer any questions beyond their statement. Stinson has declined interview requests in the Pinellas County jail. Stinson's mother, Mary Washington, declined to comment.
Serenity's arrival to the Warrens means she'll be cared for by the only people who seemed to offer her older brother any stability. Child protection records reveal a chaotic picture for Jordan outside the care of the Warrens. The boy's father was shot at, according to a report, and a Clearwater police officer told child protection investigators he had been to the home several times to respond to weapons complaints, track down wanted people and recover stolen cars. The father has denied what's in the report.
"The parents knowingly allow their infant son to reside in a dangerous environment," the report says.
Jordan was placed into foster care and remained with the Warrens for 18 months, from January 2017 until May 2018, the couple said in a previous statement. They said during that time he was filled with joy.
"Most folks knew the Jordan that was laid back with an easy smile and a twinkle in his eye," they said. "He was our 'Mr. Chuckles.'"
Jordan's guardian ad litem fought a court order that reunified Jordan with Stinson, removing him from the Warren household.
Five months later, Jordan went missing, and investigators said Stinson cooked up a story about how she and the toddler had been given a ride by a man who knocked Stinson out and kidnapped Jordan. The mother called 911, triggering an Amber Alert and an intense 60-hour search that involved both law enforcement and the public.
Jordan's body was later found in woods east of Lake Avenue NE and McMullen Road, behind ball fields at the Largo Sports Complex. Stinson later told police she struck Jordan in the head "during a moment of frustration" after the child suffered an "unexplained, serious injury" to his right leg. The blow caused Jordan's head to strike a wall, according to police, and that caused seizures. Stinson then left Jordan in the woods in the middle of the night.
"We are devastated by his loss, but for a court order, he would still be safe in our home," the Warrens said in a previous statement.
Contact Josh Solomon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4613. Follow @ByJoshSolomon.