SPECIAL REPORT: A Lodi grandmother’s anguish over her daughter’s murder was deepened this Mother’s Day by fears that the boys will be kept from her and her family while the child welfare and legal systems determine where to place them.
Gloria Laurentino, also of Lodi, said she cared for 8-year-old Nicholas and 7-year-old Anthony Jordan ( all above ) and was “a part of the children’s everyday lives.”
She picked them up from school each day and cared for them until her daughter, Tracey Jordan, 39, came home from her clothing store job in Secaucus.
FBI agents and local police were waiting when the boys’ father showed up with them at his father’s house in South Carolina before dawn yesterday, hours after his estranged wife’s body was found in the Garibaldi Avenue apartment she shared with the boys. She’d been stabbed several times, authorities said.
John “Rob” Jordan, 47, was being held as a fugitive from justice, without bail, in the Greenville County Detention Center pending extradition to New Jersey on murder charges.
The youngsters were in protective custody and were expected to remain with a foster family in South Carolina until the courts decide their immediate futures.
Laurentino said there should be no question about that.
“Besides my Tracey, the boys know me more than anyone,” she told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “I was their second mother….They are all I have of her. I want them to be able to say goodbye to their mother.
“My daughter was taken from me,” she said. “I want them back so I can be with them.”
Funeral arrangements were being handled by Kugler Community Home for Funerals in Tracey Jordan’s Saddle Brook hometown.
“Time is of the essence here with the children,” said owner Robert Kugler, who is also Saddle Brook’s police chief. “They need to be returned to the environment they are used to as soon as possible.
“The family is heartbroken over this tragic and senseless murder,” added Kugler, who is related to the family by marriage. “Not only having to deal with their overwhelming grief over the sudden loss of Tracey and the abduction of her children, they continue to be worried about Nicholas and Anthony’s welfare.
“This family needs to be reunited.”
Tracey Michelle Jordan will be interred in St. Mary’s Cemetery following 10 a.m. services Thursday at the funeral home.
Visiting hours are from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday.
Kugler asked that, in lieu of flowers, people contribute to: GoFundMe for Nicholas and Anthony Jordan
Tracey Jordan’s obituary describes her as “a very outgoing young woman who loved to dance, especially with her loving and cherished boys, Nicholas and Anthony.
“She loved to spend her Friday evenings with her sisters and all their children, just laughing and living life to its fullest. She will be forever loved, missed and remembered by all who loved her.”
They include the boys, their grandmother, their grandfather — retired Linden 37-year police veteran Theodore Miller — and his wife Nadine, and Joseph Laurentino and his wife, Maureen.
Also: Tracey’s sister, JoAnna Sweeney, and her husband Shawn; Debra Laurentino and her fiancé Anthony Alfaro; Ashley Laurentino and Christina Natkie and her husband, Joseph.
She was the granddaughter of the late Theodore and Mildred Miller, the late Louis and Mary Anderczyk and Margaret Laurentino and the late Vincent F. Laurentino.
She was the dear aunt of Rachael, Julia, Milani, and Dylan.
Tracey is also survived by many aunts and uncles, cousins and family members and friends, including her special and close friend, Ralph DeJulia.
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