Remains police believe to be that of missing Hampton toddler found

Noah Tomlin (WYDaily/Courtesy of the Hampron Police Division)
Noah Tomlin (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Hampron Police Division)

HAMPTON — Police have found a body they believe to be Noah Tomlin, the 2-year-old toddler missing since June 24.

“We continue to keep those who love Noah and his family in our hearts and in our prayers,” Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult said during a briefing Wednesday.

At approximately 8:50 a.m. police found the remains of a child at the city’s steam plant, Sult said. The chief said the scene is still being processed and an autopsy has not been done at this time.

“Noah is the epitome of an innocent victim,” Sult said. “He like all innocent victims deserve better”

“Noah is now in a better place,” the chief said.

The six-phase operation to find Noah consisted of four independent searches at the toddler’s home and two at the steam plant, Sult said, adding investigative and search teams spent more than 10,000 man hours looking for Noah and sifted through about 1,000 tons — or 2 million pounds — of garbage.

Noah was last seen by his mother, Julia Tomlin, at approximately 1 a.m. on June 24 and reported him missing to police at 11:36 a.m. authorities said.

RELATED STORY: Where is Noah? No signs of the 2-year-old boy as police expand search

Local law enforcement teamed up with state police and the FBI to search for Noah Tomlin in the Buckroe Beach neighborhood and surrounding areas. Trash collection was stopped and search teams even looked in Bethel landfill and city’s main landfill.

Last Friday, Sult said they believe Noah Tomlin is dead and charged Julia Tomlin with three counts of felony child neglect.

Sult added Julia Tomlin’s other children are being taken care of and child protective services is involved.

RELATED STORY: Missing Hampton toddler presumed dead; mother arrested

Julia Tomlin (WYDaily/Courtesy of Hampton Police)
Julia Tomlin (Suthside Daily/Courtesy of Hampton Police)

Julia Tomlin was previously charged with one count of felony child neglect in 2010 and was sentenced to five months in jail with one year of probation, according to the Newport News Circuit Court records.

WYDaily, Southside Daily’s sister publication, reached out to the Human Services Department in Hampton about Julia Tomlin and was informed child protective services could not speak about Noah’s mother because of confidentiality guidelines.

“We cannot confirm or deny anything at all,” said Wanda Rogers, director of the Human Services Department in Hampton.

WYDaily also reached out to Human Services in Newport News and was unable to get in touch with someone from the department or child protective services.

WYDaily sent an email to Venerria Lucas-Thomas, the director of Human Services in Newport News.

Kim Lee, spokeswoman for the city, responded.

“We do not discuss CPS cases,” she wrote in an email.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.