Just a few recent case updates…
We’ll start with the case of missing Virginia toddler Noah Tomlin, who, tragically but to no one’s surprise, is no longer missing. Hampton Police gave a press conference on Wednesday, somberly announcing that the remains of a child they believe to be Noah were discovered at 8:50 on Wednesday morning at the city steam plant. The remains were not incinerated, and the medical examiner’s office is working to identify the child.
“Noah is the epitome of an innocent victim. He like all innocent victims deserve better,” said Chief Terry Sult. Amen, Chief. “We all have to come together and heal. Most importantly we need to address those who do harm to the innocent.”
WAVY (10 On Your Side) also reported on Wednesday that, through a Freedom of Information Act request, they discovered multiple 911 calls were made from the the mobile home where Noah lived with his mother, Julia Tomlin, at 191 Atlantic Avenue in Hampton over the last six months, “totaling 29 pages of ‘communications list of events’ and a 58 page ‘communications events report.‘” Because Noah’s death is still under investigation, the city cannot yet release these records.
Another update to Noah’s case is the statement his paternal grandmother, Cindy Jones, released today in the Justice for Noah Tomlin 💚💚 Facebook group. In it, not only does she address why Noah’s father and his family have remained silent throughout the search phase of Noah’s case, but she puts to rest the question of how many siblings Noah actually has. (OMG, you guys. It’s even more than I suspected.) Cindy’s statement reads as follows:
I know everyone is wondering why Noah’s father and family have stayed quiet throughout this past week of hellish speculation, conjecture, and innuendo. Nevertheless, we are now prepared to speak out and explain our position on why we have remained in the background until now. Additionally, before we relay our sentiments on this shocking, and horrendous situation that two families find themselves entangled, everyone needs to remember that Noah had nine, yes nine siblings that are also innocent victims. And it is because of the other nine children involved that we ask the public to take care with what they post on social media as the older children are privy to everything that is being posted and it is severely upsetting adding to the stress of them finding out their brother has died at the hand of their mother. Please have care and think before you post and ask yourself, would I want my child to read this if the tables were turned?
We have chosen to remain silent until now because we have Julia Tomlin’s three oldest children. We adopted them in 2011, after she signed away her parental rights before going to jail after being convicted of felony child abuse. We adopted the three older children who are our grandchildren and who we fostered for six months prior to the adoption’s finalization. There is also a set of twins one of which was the victim of the stove burn. The twins found a new life and home with an unknown family. There are also three more boys who all reside with their fathers. The baby is now in foster care and we pray that she finds a loving family. All in all, it is the nine other children that everyone should consider in the aftermath of the tragedy. Please be sensitive in what is said and/or written. People can speculate, spew hatred and venom or they can opt to send prayers and well wishes. Until the entire situation comes to light and the truth in its entirety comes out, please understand that the children are wounded, and devastated.
It was our true belief and hope beyond hope that Noah would be returned home safely and that his disappearance was nothing more than a sickening prank that had gone awry. We sincerely thought that Julia had arranged to have someone hide Noah as a means of upsetting Noah’s father and getting back at him for changing his plans of going to her house the morning of his return. Instead, he decided to come straight to see his parents and older three children, on his return to Virginia from California on Saturday, June 22. Noah’s father had been residing in California for the past two years and did not find out about Julia’s pregnancy until after he had moved for work. We genuinely believed that Julia was vying for attention as it would not be the first time that Julia had caused drama and chaos for unseen slights. Unfortunately, our worst fears came to fruition as we all found out this past Wednesday, July 3. There is much more of this story to be told but, as I asked of you all I must abide by own wishes and not post anything that would be hurtful to the children. I do want to say that our hearts are broken and the sadness is stifling. There is a cloud of sorrow over our home. We pray that all who have sent love and support to us know that it has been a great comfort to our family to know that so many people care. Additionally, for those who have sent donations, we wish only to see Noah’s siblings be the beneficiaries and recipients of the goodwill of the public who has been so very generous.
Thank You So Very Much
I also have an update on Krista Madden, who was arrested in May and charged of attempted murder after making a false report to police that her seven-week-old daughter, Shaylie, had been kidnapped, when it turned out she herself had chucked the baby into a ravine. Shaylie survived, thank God, and Krista has been behind bars ever since. However, she was released on bail on June 26, and her attorney continues to claim she suffers from postpartum depression. It will be interesting to find out how this case turns out. I’ll keep you posted.
Up next are some updates on the case of A.J. Freund, the 5-year-old Illinois boy born with drugs in his system and later beaten to death by his parents and buried in a shallow grave before they reported him “missing.” I already reported that his mother, JoAnn Cunningham, gave birth to a baby girl in early June while in custody for A.J.’s murder. A.J.’s little sister is reportedly named Gracie Faith. It remains unclear if A.J.’s father, Andrew “Drew” Freund Sr., or JoAnn’s boyfriend, Daniel Nowicki, is the father, but paternity results have been released that do confirm both A.J. and his 4-year-old brother, Parker, were fathered by Drew — who, incidentally, was JoAnn’s divorce attorney prior to the two shacking up together. I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if JoAnn sports a tramp stamp tattoo reading “Classy Lady.” With both of his parents in prison, probably for the next several decades, Parker’s future is uncertain. All we can hope is that he will be taken in by someone who will give him the love, care, attention, and respect he deserves and certainly didn’t get in his parents’ house of horrors.
An uplifting update to A.J.’s story is that an resident of Volo, Illinois named Chad Carpenter, after taking his 15-month-old son Caiden to visit A.J.’s temporary memorial outside the Freund family home in Crystal Lake, was moved to create a nonprofit organization called Kids Like AJ to raise awareness to end neglect and prevent child abuse. Chad’s goal with the new organization is to hire licensed therapists to provide training for emergency responders and teachers on how to recognize signs of child abuse. The first fundraising event for Kids Like AJ was held on June 22 at the McHenry County Fairgrounds, featuring games and bounce houses for kids, live bands, and tables offering information about community organizations. Another fundraising event is planned for December. In the meantime, donations are still being accepted at the Kids Like AJ website.
Finally, in a heartwarming update, Atlanta Falcons offensive guard Jamon Brown decided to do something good after hearing about the story of De’Anthony Trice, the one-month-old Louisville, Kentucky baby who died after his father, Anthony Trice, punched him in the head in a “post-video game rage.”
According to the Bleacher Report, Jamon said, “When [executive director of the Jamon Brown Foundation, Danny Mosby] sent me the story, I was like, ‘Bro, this is sad.’ I read it, and I broke down. I have a daughter of my own, and I can only imagine making an irrational decision after losing a video game, not only what that would do to me but what that would do to my family. I was like ‘Damn’ just to be honest. It’s crazy some of the things that go on in this world.”
Through his foundation, Jamon helped cover De’Anthony’s funeral expenses. “I’m very thankful and grateful to Jamon,” De’Anthony’s great-grandmother, Alvena Smith, told ESPN. “He has not forgotten where he came from. I can’t thank him for his generosity because he definitely didn’t have to bless us the way he did. I didn’t know he loved us that much.”
That put a tear in my eye. The Jamon Brown Foundation aims to “impact the lives of those struggling with poverty, violence, and youth homelessness, and to improve upon the education and healthy living issues that are typically prevalent in at-risk areas while influencing others to do the same.”
Hey, at least we were able to end this one on a positive note, huh? Have a good weekend, my friends.
For more of my coverage on these cases, click the child’s name: