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.
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 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, the younger boy’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: