Content warning: This story contains disturbing descriptions of child abuse.
A Virginia woman was sentenced on Monday to 55 years in prison for murdering her 2-year-old son.
Julia Leanna Tomlin, 37, pleaded guilty last December to second-degree murder, concealing a dead body and felony child abuse in the 2019 death of Noah Tomlin.
The boy’s remains were discovered at a steam plant in Hampton, commonwealth’s attorney Anton A. Bell tells PEOPLE.
A medical examiner concluded that the boy died from blunt-force head trauma and battered child syndrome.
“This child was beaten profusely,” says Bell. “This child’s body couldn’t take it anymore. Death was a welcome friend to Noah because his body could not take anymore. The abuse was just so profound.”
At Tomlin’s sentencing, her 19-year-old daughter asked for the maximum sentence.
“My mother, Julia Tomlin, has never been fit to be a parent,” ela disse, de acordo com Virginian–Piloto. “She has only cared for herself and has never prioritized the needs for any of her children, even when she had claimed to be doing so. All of her children have been removed from her care and should have never been returned to her care.”
She told the court that her late brother Noah “received the worst from her. In the two short years he lived, he had witnessed pure hate and cruelty from the woman who was supposed to love and protect him.”
The boy was reported missing from Tomlin’s Bayside Village Mobile Home Park trailer on June 24, 2019. Tomlin allegedly claimed to police that she put her three young children to bed the night before and when she woke up the following morning Noah was gone.
She claimed Noah, who had autism, was abducted — but then later said the boy hit his head and drowned in the bathtub after she left him unattended. She said she had taken heroin.
Bell said Tomlin called a friend and asked to bring over cleaning supplies, and to dispose of the boy’s body.
“Tomlin would later confess that later that night, which was the early morning of June the 23rd, she wrapped Noah’s deceased body, put the body in a diaper box, triple-bagged the box with three trash bags, and gave it to [o amigo dela] to dispose,” says Bell. “Tomlin was adamant that [o amigo dela] was unaware of the contents of the package.”
The friend dumped the boy’s body at a dumpster across town.
Noah’s remains were found after days of searching.
Police later discovered the boy’s blood on a bedroom wall and a bed sheet found in the trash, according to Bell.
Bell says Noah’s injuries were consistent with child abuse.
“Noah’s skull had a hole in it that was found to be consistent with an instrument striking it,” ele diz. “The medical examiner stated the injuries were consistent with the force of someone being dropped from a multiple story building.”
Noah also had several prior injuries that were “significant and severe,” says Bell, including a fractured jawbone, and a fractured ribcage and signs of shaken baby syndrome.
The medical examiner, according to Bell, said Noah’s growth had been stunted. “It was evident from the autopsy that he had stopped eating at some point, and that would’ve been consistent when a child who was in severe pain and as a result of the severe pain, it would’ve been too painful for him to eat.”
Tomlin’s attorney Tyrone Johnson could not be reached for comment. At the sentencing, Johnson told the judge that Tomlin had suffered from years of mental and physical abuse by her parents and a boyfriend she had met as a teen.
Se você suspeita de abuso infantil, Ligue para a Linha Direta Nacional de Abuso Infantil da Childhelp no número 1-800-4-A-Child ou 1-800-422-4453, ou vá para www.childhelp.org. Todas as ligações são gratuitas e confidenciais. A linha direta está disponível 24/7 em mais de 170 línguas.