Couple charged with child abuse and neglect after son is found dead

The couple's son, 5, from Dublin, Virginia, was last seen alive March 22. His mother had gone back to sleep early in the morning with their infant 6-month-old daughter.


Ashley White, 30, and Paul Thomas, 32, have been charged with child abuse and neglect following the death of their son, Noah Thomas.

When she woke up at 10am, the child was missing.

After an intensive FBI search, Noah's body was found in septic tank on family's property five days later. Thomas and White's 6-month-old daughter was removed from the home one day later and handed over to  Social Services.

During their arraignment via teleconference Friday, both suspects objected to the presence of reporters in the courtroom.

"This is the saddest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life," White was quoted as saying. "I don’t feel people should be able to enjoy it over dinner."

Her boyfriend sounded a similar note, saying that he doesn't want his life to be a news story. The judge, however, allowed members of the media to stay in the room.

They are being held in jail without bond pending a court hearing scheduled for August 12.

Investigators are now waiting for the medical examiner's office to release the results of Noah's autopsy to shed light on the cause of death, which could take weeks, if not months.


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