Rainey Stanley and Serenity

Rainey Stanley holds Serenity Fleming, the daughter of his girlfriend, Samantha Fleming. Stanley had hoped to adopt Serenity, but the death of Samantha leaves those plans in limbo.

ANDERSON, Ind. — The boyfriend of an Indiana woman found slain in a home in Gary said the woman suspected of posing as a Department of Child Services employee to lure the young mother from her home easily could have acted alone.

“This lady was just a little taller than Sam,” Rainey A. Stanley said in a Facebook chat with The Anderson (Ind.) Herald Bulletin. “Sam was in a lot of pain because of her C-section. She couldn't move right. This lady took advantage of that.”

Stanley witnessed a woman believed to be Geraldine Jones convince his girlfriend of eight months, Samantha J. Fleming, to go to Lake County with a story that she was taking her to a court hearing in Gary.

Fleming, 23, and her newborn daughter, Serenity, were reported missing in early April. Her body was found April 17 stabbed 10 times, doused in bleach and stuffed into a bin in a closet of Jones' home in Gary.

Jones had fled to Fort Worth, Texas, where she reportedly was being treated for depression. She is expected to be extradited to Madison County around April 30 to face charges, including murder, kidnapping and criminal confinement.

Serenity, 3 weeks old, also was found unharmed in the home. She now resides with Fleming’s family.

Stanley and Fleming had planned to merge their families. Their first step was to visit the Madison County Government Center so Fleming could file for divorce from her husband, Stephen Fleming, who also is not Serenity’s father, and to start the adoption process so Stanley could become her legal father.

“They got that Go Fund Me account for Serenity, but I will do all I can for her financially. I love that lil girl like my own kids,” the father of 11-year-old twins said in the chat. "I have all of the things me and Sam got for her and they are more than welcome to it. I just want to be able to see her. She is a part of Sam.”

Stanley said Fleming had tried to divorce before, but her husband refused to sign the papers.

“Stephen was another one we thought it may have been. Tuesday (April 7) all the messages stopped, and he made a Facebook post of the psalm of David or whatever it was called, but he turned out to be a dead end," he said. Stephen Fleming had posted the 23rd Psalm, often recited at funerals and memorial services.

On April 8, Stephen Fleming also posted the following to his Facebook page: “Facebook friends, Please pray for the safety of my ex-wife Samantha. I guess she is considered a missing person. The police are looking for her abroad. Please pray that nothing bad happens to her. Thanks and God Bless.”

Though most of Fleming’s family members have remained mum, refusing to speak to media and going silent on social media since the discovery of her body, her sister Kailey Archer has posted from time to time.

"I hope that people can learn from this and realize that family is all you have,” she said. “If you love someone, tell them. Tell them 4,739 times a day and don't let them forget it. So thankful my last words to my sister were ‘I love you.’ I hope she knows how much I cared about her. I'm forever thankful for everyone who helped us look for them and all of your prayers — feeling heartbroken."

Archer's posts also showed some of the strain from Fleming’s death.

"Please don't be scared to message or text me. It's OK to send me love; I just don't want questions right now. I keep getting messages apologizing for apologizing. Your prayers and kind words are what's getting me through this."

Facebook also has memorialized Fleming’s page under the name Samantha Jean Rainey, her maiden name. The last time she posted was a photo of Serenity on April 4.

Gibbs writes for the Anderson (Ind.) Herald Bulletin.

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