The 2-year-old Florida boy found dead after a five day hunt was attacked and then left to die by his own mother, according to authorities.
Police arrested 21-year-old Charisse Stinson and charged her with first-degree murder and child abuse on Tuesday after the body of her son, Jordan Belliveau, was found in a wooded area. She appeared in front of a judge on Wednesday, who set no bond on the murder charge and $500,000 for child abuse.
Stinson admitted to striking her child "in a moment of frustration" with a blow that caused him to hit his head against a wall in their home, according to the arrest affidavit filed by Largo Police, ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa Bay reported. The injured boy then got steadily worse through the night and suffered seizures, police said.
But instead of seeking medical help, Stinson took the child to a wooded area and left him to die, the affidavit stated. She then hit herself to create "self-inflicted injuries" that she later presented as results of a conflict with a stranger, according to authorities.
An Amber Alert was issued for Jordan the next day, on Sunday, hours after Stinson turned up at an inn in the early morning hours, and appeared to be injured, officials said.
She claimed she had been knocked unconscious and dumped in a park by a stranger she called Antwan, who had given Jordan and her a ride. She had last seen the toddler when they were in Antwan's car, she allegedly told police.
But police said in a press conference on Wednesday that they believe the story is completely made up.
"We do not believe there was an Antwan," said Largo police Lt. Randall Chaney. "That was all fabricated by Ms. Stinson to help cover her alibi for what she'd actually done."
Throughout the five days authorities searched for the child and interviewed his mother, she repeatedly changed her account based on the line of questioning and did not appear to show any remorse, Chaney said.
People across the country mourned Jordan on Wednesday. Among those most distraught were his foster parents, with whom he had lived for more than a year, from January 2017 to May 2018, before he was returned to his birth mother.
"We love Jordan deeply and are devastated by his loss," Sam Warren, Jordan's foster-father, said as foster-mother Juliet Warren stood by his side at a press conference attended by WFTS. "He wasn't just the boy in the Amber Alert. He learned to roll over in our house. I remember my mom helping him learn to crawl. Jordan learned to walk and talk in our family. He flourished and grew in a community that loved him deeply as well."
The Warrens blamed the foster system for the child's fate.
"But for a court order he would still be safe in our home," he said. "Jordan was failed by the system. He was failed by many people who could have protected him but didn't. Promises that were made to us about how he would be protected after his return were broken."
Just a few hours before Jordan was killed, Stinson and her son had been visited at home by a member of the Florida Department of Children and Families, which was investigating the family, police said.
Jordan's parents have a turbulent history. They have both been arrested on separate occasions for violence against the other, according to court records in the possession of ABC News. In the latest incident in July of this year, the argument between the two was triggered after the father drove their child to Stinson's residence to exchange custody access and she allegedly said she did not want the child yet.
For nearly a week, multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Largo Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement searched bodies of water, reviewed surveillance footage, deployed canine search teams and interviewed family in the hunt for the child.
Police said they had recovered "bloody items" from the apartment where Jordan and his mother lived, although they did not say it was in any way connected to the boy's disappearance.
The Florida Department of Children and Families said the family is "familiar to the child welfare system," and the agency "will conduct a special review of any prior interactions."
"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," DCF said in a statement.
Mother struck 2-year-old, left him to die in the woods and faked an injury: Police