Noah Thomas Search: ‘Hard, credible tip’ led investigators to septic tank

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-30 18:25:48-04

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Noah Thomas, the five-year-old Pulaski boy who was found dead after a nearly a week-long search, will be laid to rest  Wednesday morning in his home town of Dublin.

Investigators recovered the boy’s body from a septic tank near his home Thursday.

Meanwhile, investigators told WDBJ that a "hard, credible tip" caused them to look in the septic tank behind the family's home.

The sheriff said that FBI agents and Pulaski County investigators had already removed the tank's two-pound plastic lid when they called in  a sanitation company to drain the tank.

Jonathan Abate, who drained the 4 feet wide, 8 feet long and 5 and a half feet wide tank, told WDBJ he saw the boy's body.

"When we started pumping, I got halfway down in the tank. That’s when I seen the little... I seen clothes. That's pretty much all I'm going to say about that,” Abate said.

The medical examiner's report on how Noah died is expected to be released this week.

No one has been charged in his death.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis released a statement about Noah's death Monday:

"The death of young Noah Thomas is still very much an active investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. As Sheriff, I want the citizens of Pulaski County to know that at no time during this investigation have authorities suspected there was a lingering danger to your children. An initial autopsy was conducted in Roanoke but will not be complete for several weeks. Unfortunately certain tests take a long time to complete and the final cause of death is dependent on those results.

I understand your frustration with the lack of details surrounding Noah's death: however I ask that you respect my office's mission to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of this case and at the appropriate time - when it would not otherwise jeopardize this investigation - we will make a formal statement on the findings."

Noah Thomas Missing

Remembering Noah 

Friends and family gathered Saturday and again on Sunday to remember Noah.

A candlelight vigil was held for Noah on Sunday and dozens of people released balloons in his memory on Saturday.

Noah's funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Dublin United Methodist Church on East Main Street in Dublin.