LARGO (FOX 13) - The former foster parents of a little boy whose body was found in the woods - allegedly killed by his biological mother - said the system failed, possibly leading to his death.
Sam and Juliet Warren released a statement Wednesday expressing their devastation, saying they had tried to adopt the toddler who stayed in their care for more than a year.
An Amber Alert sparked a dayslong search for 2-year-old Jordan Belliveau, whose body was found Tuesday in a wooded area in Largo.
The Warrens said Jordan was placed in their care in January 2017 and was returned to his mother on May 31, 2018.
They said, during that time, Jordan learned to roll over, crawl, walk, and talk.
"We loved Jordan deeply and we are devastated by his loss," the Warrens said. "He flourished and grew in a community that loved him deeply as well. He was loved by our whole family, the LifeBridge Church community, the Coast Guard community, and the Door of Hope foster care community."
The Warrens said they hope Jordan's death will lead to safeguards that could "protect other endangered children in the system."
"Jordan was failed by the system, he was failed by many people who should have protected him but didn’t. Promises that were made to us about how he would be protected after his return were broken," the Warrens said. "Ultimately, we hope that our painful loss will result in a fundamental reexamination of the entire system, of how foster care works, [and] of the reunification process. Jordan deserves that and the other children in the system deserve that."
Sam and Juliet Warren said Jordan was "filled with joy" and had "an easy smile and a twinkle in his eye."
"We are devastated by his loss," they said, asking for privacy during their time of mourning.
The Department of Children and Families released a statement about Jordan Belliveau's death, saying:
The loss of this child is profoundly saddening. While Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office conducts all child protective and child death investigations in that county, not DCF, the department will continue to support.
This family is familiar to the child welfare system. DCF will conduct a special review of any prior interactions.
Meanwhile, Jordan's paternal family members are left wondering how this could have happened.
"My grandson was not given a chance. Why should she be given a chance?" said Jordan's paternal grandmother, Jessica Belliveau, who attended Stinson's first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
"We can't teach him how to ride a bike. We won't be able to teach him how to run a football, play football. She took that from us," added Nakieshia Pressley, Jordan's great aunt.
According to police, Stinson admitted to hitting her son so hard, his head knocked against a wall in their apartment. Jordan began suffering from seizures and deteriorated over the weekend.
Officers said, instead of taking Jordan to the doctor, she took her boy to a wooded area and left him. It's unclear if he had passed away before or after he was abandoned.
"[The] death penalty is too easy. I want her to live her life out knowing what she did to my grandson," Jessica Belliveau said.