An already tragic story just got worse: The parents of Noah Thomas, the 5-year-old boy who was found dead in a septic tank last week, have been charged with felony abuse and neglect of children. Ashley White, 30, and Paul Thomas, 32, were arraigned today and are being held without bond at the New River Valley Regional Jail in Pulaski County, Virginia, reports WUSA-TV. The pair also have a 6-month-old daughter, and she has been removed from their custody as the investigation continues.
"It came to a point where the evidence that we had we felt was sufficient to arrest them for probable cause," says the commonwealth's attorney for Pulaski County. White—who says she left Noah watching cartoons on the day of his disappearance while she napped—faces up to 15 years under the current charges, and her husband 10, reports WDBJ7. Autopsy reports are expected to be released over the next few weeks, and they could shed light on what happened during the final hours of Noah's life. The cause of death hasn't been determined. (Read more child abuse stories.)