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Mother arrested days after saying toddler vanished charged with felony child neglect

Posted at 11:25 PM, Jun 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-30 23:28:21-04

HAMPTON, Va. -- Julia Tomlin was arrested and charged with three counts of felony child neglect in connection with her son Noah’s disappearance, WTKR reported.

Arrest warrants reveal the charges against the 34-year-old mother stem from incidents on June 22— two days before Tomlin reported her son missing.

Tomlin is accused of neglecting 3 different children— ages 6 months, 2 years and 3 years old.

The two-year-old boy was last seen around the Bayside Mobile Home Village around 1 a.m. Monday.

Hampton Police continue to search for Noah, who is presumed dead.

Their search efforts, which are focusing in and around the area where the two live and include a nearby landfill, are expected to intensify over the coming days, according to police.

Tomlin and the boy’s father were initially at police headquarters on a voluntary basis. At that time, there were no charges against them and they were cooperating with law enforcement, police said.

The felony child neglect charges are not Tomlin’s first. In fact, Tomlin spent five months behind bars after pleading guilty to felony child neglect in 2010.

Her then-1-year-old daughter was severely burned after Tomlin sat her down on a hot kitchen stove, according to court documents.

Julia and Noah Tomlin

Julia and Noah Tomlin

Mother reports the toddler missing

Noah went to bed in the early hours of Monday morning wearing a white and green striped pajama shirt and a diaper. It was the last time he was reported to have been seen.

Initially, police said that no explanation of his disappearance was ruled out, including the chance he walked away.

The parents were cooperating with the police, CNN affiliate WTKR reported. , Hampton police chief Terry Sult said Wednesday that the mother is "holding up as well as you could expect under the circumstances."

But now, police allege the child's mother was involved.

"There are so many people that are hurt by this," Sult said Friday. "There are so many people out there in the community who would be willing to take care of a child to make sure this doesn't happen."

A desperate search

Hampton police have conducted multiple searches and brought in the Virginia Department of Emergency Management search team, the state police and the FBI to assist in the investigation.

The search took place on land, sea and air, and was done by foot and with drones and sonar, Sult said.

"We have looked on land, water; we have checked trash dumpsters; we have checked neighborhoods, houses, underneath buildings, in sheds. We actually covered the area multiple times with different teams so we would have different eyes checking the same locations repeatedly," Sult said.

And even if Noah is dead, law enforcement officials are desperate to bring the little boy home, he said.

"At the end of the day, it affects the police officers and the first responders as well," Sult told reporters Friday. "It's the emotion in their face, through all the dirt, the filth, the tiredness from searching landfills and all the other stuff, the investigations that go on 24 hours a day, the fatigue that can set it."

"But nobody wants to drop it," Sult added. "They want to find Noah."