Julia Tomlin, the mother of missing toddler Noah, was on Friday arrested in connection with his disappearance. This is a mugshot from 2010
The mother of two-year-old Hampton boy Noah Tomlin has been arrested in connection with the toddler’s disappearance almost a week ago, police said on Friday night.
Authorities also now ‘believe [Noah] to be deceased,’ Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said at a news conference.
He added that while that ‘leaves us speechless,’ the search for Noah continues and ‘we’ll never give up hope’.
Charges against Julia Leanna Tomlin, 34, are pending, and she is in custody at the Hampton Police Headquarters.
In 2010, she spent five months behind bars after pleading guilty to felony child neglect.
Court documents say her then-1-year-old daughter was severely burned after Tomlin sat the baby down on a hot kitchen stove, WTKR reports.
Noah was last seen when he was put to bed at 1 a.m. on Monday, June 24, at the family’s home in the Bayside Mobile Home Village in Norfolk.
Two-year-old Hampton boy Noah Tomlin was last seen early on Monday, June 24. Police now believe he is dead
His mother told police that she went to check on him at around 11 a.m. Monday and reported him missing at 11:36 a.m. when she did not find him, authorities said.
That sparked a huge five-day search involving the FBI, firefighters and several local law enforcement agencies.
‘Unfortunately to date, Noah has not been found; however, based on the highly coordinated investigation we currently believe him to be deceased,’ Hampton Police wrote in a statement.
The statement goes on that police ‘are intensifying our search efforts to find Noah with a more specific focus’, but did not provide further details.
Sult said earlier in the week that Julia Tomlin had been assisting authorities. ‘She’s holding up as about as well as you could expect under the circumstances,’ he said.
On Wednesday, Noah’s mother texted ABC affiliate WVEC, writing: ‘I’m working real hard with law enforcement to help find my baby. I can’t have my location known or whereabouts of my other children for their safety.’
Charges against Julia Tomlin, 34, (seen in Facebook photos) are pending. She spent five months behind bars in 2010 after pleading guilty to felony child neglect. Her baby daughter was severely burned after Tomlin sat her down on a hot kitchen stove
Noah’s disappearance sparked a huge search. Vehicles of authorities are shown in the area surrounding where the boy was last seen in Virginia on Monday
WTKR reported that Noah vanished from the family’s home in the Bayside Mobile Home Village in Norfolk
Julia Tomlin served several months in prison in 2010 for felony child neglect, after her then 1-year-old daughter was severely burned when she sat the child down on a hot stove, and then failed to take her to the hospital for days, WTKR reported.
The father, Justin Jones, was also charged with one count of felony child neglect.
According to the records cited by WTKR, Tomlin had five kids at the time.
Authorities have not disclosed how many children were in Tomlin’s care when Noah went missing on Monday.
The neglectful mother appears to have posted pictures on her Facebook page captioned ‘My beautiful children,’ just six days before Noah vanished.
Officers focused the search for Noah on the city landfill on Thursday and Friday.
Sult on Wednesday said officers were ‘turning over every stone’.
‘We have looked on land, water, we have checked trash dumpsters, we have checked neighborhoods, houses, underneath buildings, in sheds,’ Sult said.
‘We did four search phases in the immediate area of Buckroe Beach where Noah was last seen. The fifth stage is the landfill, so from our previous experience in previous investigations, this is one of the elements that needs to be explored for a missing person cases,’ said Hampton Police spokesman Reginald Williams.
First responders were also seen searching the nearby Mill Creek using an airboat.
A ‘Bring Noah Home’ vigil is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 29 at the corner of S. First Street and Seaboard Avenue. It will start with a prayer at 8 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to bring a candle for the candle lighting at 8:30 p.m.
Anyone with information related to Noah’s disappearance or whereabouts is asked to contact police at 757-727-6111 or 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.