A mom of 10 was sentenced to 55 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to killing her 2-year-old son, who was found dead in a steam plant in 2019.

Virginia court records show a judge sentenced Julia Tomlin to 40 years for second-degree murder, 10 years for abuse of a child causing serious injury, and five years for concealing a dead body in connection with the death of Noah Tomlin.

Julia Tomlin pleaded guilty to the charges in December and was given the maximum possible sentence.

Tomlin reported Noah, who was autistic, missing June 24, 2019, to Hampton Police, and the department began an “extremely intensive investigation.” Four days later, on June 28, Hampton Police announced they arrested Tomlin on three counts of child neglect. At the time of her arrest, however, police still had not yet recovered the little boy’s body, though they believed he was deceased.

According to WAVY-TV, on July 3, 2019, investigators found remains at a local steam plant, which reportedly followed over 10,000 hours of searching and sifting through over 2 million pounds of trash.

WTKR-TV reports Noah was killed just after his second birthday and was brutally tortured. The medical examiner determined he died from blunt force trauma to the head and testified at Tomlin’s sentencing hearing that the injuries were consistent with falling from a high building and then being hit against a wall. The medical examiner also reportedly discovered Noah had several abuse-related injuries prior to his death, including broken ribs and a broken jaw.

One of Tomlin’s 10 children testified at the hearing and said she and all of her siblings faced abuse.

Noah’s body was reportedly placed in a diaper box, which was put inside a garbage bag, WTKR reports.

According to WAVY, Tomlin reportedly told detectives she killed Noah June 22, even though she did not report him missing until June 24.

In 2010, Tomlin spent five months in prison for child neglect after she reportedly put her 1-year-old child on a hot stove, WTKR reports.

WAVY reports Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell said at the sentencing hearing, “When it comes to kids, you’re supposed to be their protector, not the predator. So when we have parents that prey on their kids and they fail to do what’s necessary to protect them, I think everything should be thrown at them.”

Bell added “We’ve got to send a message to the community that we are not going to tolerate that.”

Original Article