HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Officials say the mother of 2-year-old Virginia boy now faces a murder charge for her involvement in his death.

Noah Tomlin was found dead in a steam plant in July, more than a week after his mother reported him missing.

Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell said Thursday during a news conference that Noah Tomlin’s autopsy revealed he died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries.

“This child was tortured.”


As a result of the autopsy finding, Noah Tomlin’s mother, Julia Tomlin, has been charged with murder and unlawful disposal of a deceased person.

Previously, Julia Tomlin was charged with three counts of felony child neglect on June 28 in connection to Noah’s disappearance.

Noah was reported missing in late June by Tomlin. The 34-year-old woman told police she put Noah to bed in their Buckroe Beach home around 1 a.m. on June 24. She discovered him missing when she went to check on him around 11 a.m. the same day, according to court documents.

Noah was missing for more than a week before his body was discovered in the steam plant by the Hampton Police Department on July 3. Over 10,000 hours were put into the search for Noah, and investigators dug through more than 2 million pounds of trash before they discovered his body.

At Thursday’s news conference, Bell said they know how the child’s body ended up at the steam plant, but they are not releasing that information.

Tomlin will face the new charges in addition to the previous ones.

Bell said Tomlin also faces child abuse charges relating to the other two children in her home, ages 8 months and 3 years old, at the time of Noah’s death.

“We’re just finding out who the biological father is,” Bell said. They used DNA to gather this information. Bell confirmed Julia Tomlin is the only person facing charges in this case.

Bell said he knows someone helped her dispose of the child’s body. What they are working to determine now is intent, whether or not the person knew the body was in the bag when it happened.

Bell says Noah’s left leg and liver were the only recognizable parts found at the steam plant.

In fact, the body was so badly decomposed at that point they also called in an anthropologist to assist with the autopsy.

Bell says the autopsy revealed Noah died from blunt head trauma and battered child syndrome.

He says the anthropologist was able to piece the skill together to find out he ultimately died from two fractures to the skull.

However, there were other chronic battering injuries like a bruised left leg and fractured jaw and rib.

“The type of injury this child suffered was the same as if a child had fallen several stories from a building so this injury was not only severe, but just horrific,” explained Bell.

Bell says Julia Tomlin had a prior child neglect conviction in Newport News about two years ago.

He says they will hold her accountable for her son’s death.

“Is she a danger to children? Absolutely. Was she in risk to be in a caretaker role of the children? Absolutely, no question about it. So do I feel the ball was dropped? It’s not my place to say, but clearly she shouldn’t have been in the caretaker position for anyone’s child,” Bell stated.

Bell says Julia Tomlin will be arraigned within the next two business days for her new charges.

“Justice looks like Julia Tomlin being held fully accountable for the death of her son,” Bell said.