Saturday afternoon, investigators confirmed Jennifer Beaver's worst fears. The body pulled from the Mississippi River was of a 10-year-old boy she helped raise.
"He's not my former stepson, he's my son," Beaver said. "I took care of him, I nurtured that little boy, I tucked him in. I was his mommy."
On March 18, the day Barway Collins went missing, Pierre Collins was at a court hearing that Beaver was teleconferenced into.
"Pierre was ordered that day to pay child support," she said. "The judge was not lenient on him that day at all. The day was very hard on him and he was angry."
Divorced now for more than a year, Beaver has sole custody of their 4 children -- 2 biological and 2 others from a previous relationship that Pierre adopted. But Beaver said Pierre would not allow her to adopt Barway.
Beaver filed an order for protection against Pierre Collins in 2013 after she says he hurt her children. The order expired just days before Barway disappeared.
"I recall (Pierre) hitting (Barway) with a belt, not just a couple times -- we're talking 10 times if not more," Beaver said. "We're talking hitting him in his head anytime he got an answer wrong on his homework. He was abusive of my children, abusive towards me."
Police said they have electronic evidence that places Pierre Collins near the very spot Barway's body was found. Beaver and her sister, Talisha, are now waiting for word of an arrest or two, since the last we heard from Barway was his sighting of his dad and his "uncle." VIDEO – Barway Collins on the bus before disappearance
"There's somebody else who helped him with this and that person needs to be found," Talisha said.
They also wonder about Yamah, Pierre's current wife, who has stood by her husband as the story about her his whereabouts March 18 changed multiple times.
"She sat right next to him while he told that story, and she nodded and everything," Talisha said. "She lied too."
Beaver mourns, and even worries about the 2 small children still under Pierre and Yamah's care.
"They're innocent kids, but if he can hurt my children, if he can hurt Barway, he can hurt them as well," Beaver said.