Police arrest mother, presume missing Va. toddler dead

Julia Leanna Tomlin, 34, has been charged with three counts of felony child neglect. Photo courtesy of Hampton, Va. police.

June 29 (UPI) — Police said Saturday they have arrested the mother of a 2-year-old Virginia boy missing since Monday as he is presumed dead.

Noah Tomlin was last seen Monday at around 1 a.m. when he was put to bed in his home in Hampton, Virginia wearing a green and white pajama shirt and diaper, an FBI statement said Monday. His mother reported him missing at 11:36 a.m. the same day.

His mother, Julia Leanna Tomlin, 34, has now been charged with three counts of felony child neglect, a police statement shows.

The felony charges are not her first. In 2010, Julia spent five months behind bars after pleading guilty to felony child neglect. Her daughter, then age 1, was severely burned after she sat her on a hot kitchen stove, court documents said. The child was taken to the hospital days after she was burned and the burns had turned into red welts, then into blisters, investigators reported. At the time, Julia had five children. Police have not said how many children were in the home when Noah was last seen.

Unfortunately, police believe Noah has died, based on investigation, which “leaves us a little bit speechless, but the search for Noah continues, “we will never give up hope,” Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said at a presser late Friday night at police headquarters.

The missing person’s report began a “very intensive investigation” by Hampton police and other local, state and federal partners, Sult said.

Sult declined to say what happened during the investigation that led them to believe the child is dead, citing the ongoing investigation.

“Based on the investigation, we are intensifying our efforts to find Noah with a more specific focus,” a police statement said.

Police have searched through areas ranging from his neighborhood to a landfill several miles away.

“Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to the loved ones of Noah Tomlin and for Noah Tomlin,” Sult said.

Child Protective Services is working to ensure Tomlin’s other children are safe, he added.

Organizers of a Saturday vigil for Noah said it will continue with a different theme.

“It will switch from where is Noah to justice for Noah,” said Jammie Abbott, who broke into tears when Sult broke the news.

Noah was last seen around 1 a.m. Monday when he was put to bed in his Hampton trailer home wearing a green and white pyjama shirt and a diaper, according to the FBI. He was reported missing at 11:36 a.m. after his mother said she went to check on him and discovered he was gone.


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