A Virginia toddler who was reported missing Monday by his mother is now believed to be dead, cops say—and his mother is in custody. At a Friday night news conference, Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult offered "hearts and prayers" for 2-year-old Noah Tomlin, and for his loved ones, but Sult added things don't look good, NBC News reports. "Based on the highly coordinated investigation, we believe him to be deceased," Sult said, adding Noah's mother, 34-year-old Julia Leanna Tomlin, had been arrested, with charges pending. Per ABC News, police say the timeline Tomlin initially gave them when she reported Noah missing was that she'd put him to sleep in their mobile home around 1am Monday; she said he was gone when she went to check on him at 11am, and she reported him missing around 11:30am.
Local law enforcement and the FBI have been involved in the "intensive search" since, per Sult. "We have looked on land, water. We have checked trash, dumpsters. We have checked neighborhoods, houses, underneath buildings, in sheds," he noted Wednesday. No details were offered on what evidence led to Tomlin's arrest and why police think Noah is no longer alive. WSLS reports Tomlin was convicted of felony child neglect in 2010. "This leaves us a little bit speechless, but the search for Noah continues," Sult said at the Friday presser. "We'll never give up hope." With involvement from Child Protective Services, Tomlin's other children are being cared for, some by relatives, per the police chief. (Read more missing child stories.)