PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – The mother of the five-year-old boy found dead in the septic tank of his Pulaski County home in March is facing a new charge in connection with her son’s death.
Ashley White was charged Wednesday with Felony Murder in Noah Thomas’ death, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.
The boy’s parents were arrested a day after their son was laid to rest in April . Ashley White, 31, and Paul Thomas, 32, were previously charged with two counts of abuse and neglect of children. Those charges were in connection with Noah’s death and the neglect of the couple’s six-month-old daughter.
The pair are being held without bond at the New River Jail.
WDBJ reports a preliminary hearing Ashley White is scheduled for Aug. 12. That’s the same day she was scheduled to appear in court for the buse and neglect charge.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement about the new charge:
“Today, Ashley Jennifer White, age 31 was charged with Felony Murder of her child Noah Thomas. Under Virginia law this charge is defined as the accidental killing, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the commission of some other felonious act. That other felonious act listed is the abuse and/ or neglect of her child. We anticipate that the preliminary hearing for this new charge will be scheduled on the same day as the pending abuse and neglect charge- August 12 and will be heard in the Pulaski County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Once again, I ask that the public be cautious with rumors and misleading speculation in reference to Noah’s death, as these statement and social media postings add more confusion and false information and divert valuable investigative manpower from the investigation. As this is a pending criminal case, neither the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office nor the Commonwealth’s Attorney will be making any further statements.”
Investigators told WDBJ that a “hard, credible tip” caused them to look in the septic tank behind the family’s home.
The sheriff said that FBI agents and Pulaski County investigators had already removed the tank’s two-pound plastic lid when they called in a sanitation company to drain the tank.
Jonathan Abate, who drained the tank, told WDBJ he saw the boy’s body.
“When we started pumping, I got halfway down in the tank. That’s when I seen the little… I seen clothes. That’s pretty much all I’m going to say about that,” Abate said.