Parents of Five-Year-Old Boy Found Dead in a Septic Tank Arrested, Charged

Drain repair

In southwest Virginia, the parents of a five-year-old boy who was found dead in a septic tank have been arrested and charged with felony child abuse and neglect.

According to an April 3 CBS News article, Ashley Jennifer White, 30, and Paul Thomas, 32, were arrested by the Pulaski County Police Department following the discovery of their son, Noah Thomas.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said Noah had last been seen alive watching cartoons around 8 a.m. on March 22 when White went to take a nap with her infant daughter. When she woke up at around 10:35 a.m., White found that Noah was missing. By 11 a.m., crews were searching for the child.

After a four-day search involving hundreds of law enforcement officials and volunteers, authorities found Noah’s body in a septic tank on the family’s Dublin, VA property. Social services removed the couple’s 8-month-old daughter from their home a day after Noah went missing.

While investigators say that abduction hasn’t been completely ruled out as the cause for Noah’s disappearance, there is no current evidence of foul play. Local police received more than 100 tips from around the country related to the five-year-old’s whereabouts during their search — some of which reported sights of suspicious vehicles in the family’s neighborhood.

Details of the cause of Noah’s death are pending an official autopsy report. White and Thomas are currently being held without bond at New River Valley Regional Jail, CBS News reports.

Typically, drain replacements and trenchless pipe repairs are required when tree roots or other debris blocks a home’s septic system. This time, the reasons for a trenchless sewer replacement are decidedly more morbid and tragic.

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