HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Buckroe neighborhood in Hampton has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons lately.
A shooting at the beach on June 22 sent four people to the hospital, including 2 children.
Then Noah Tomlin, a 2-year-old boy, was reported missing and eventually found dead.
People we spoke to said Buckroe just isn’t what it used to be, but the latest tragedy involving Noah has many people jumping into action.
A group held a meeting with the goal of making a permanent memorial to the toddler in the form of new legislation.
In a small restaurant on a Friday night, the group of people came together with Noah Tomlin in their hearts and change on the agenda.
“I just hope that we can make it safer for kids out here, that’s all,” said Donavon Bradley, a Phoebus resident.
Noah went missing last week and police found his remains on Wednesday. Police arrested his mother, Julia Tomlin, on child neglect charges.
Though many of the people didn’t know Noah, they all said they want to help others like him.
“We were starting the discussion for Noah’s law because you know, no child should ever go through that,” said Shelby Brickhouse, a Buckroe resident.
“We don’t know exactly what happened. We don’t know the law so we just came together to get some ideas,” Bradley said.
Many of the people in the room are following the case closely on social media and had concerns about the foster care system. Getting more state-funded support for drug rehab services and giving Child Protective Services more authority were some of the items discussed.
“Study the law itself and legislation and see what they can and can’t, aren’t allowed to do,” said Bradley.
“It just can’t continue,” Brickhouse said. “There is something flawed. We don’t exactly know what yet and we’re working on that and that’s part of the meeting is to discuss, get different resources, who can tell us what.”
The group also brainstormed ideas on how to better protect children who end up foster care as well as stricter standards for parents under investigation.
They plan to reach out to state delegates to get the ball rolling.
“This is the last straw and now it’s time to stop praying only and stop saying ‘oh this is so sad.’ It’s time to do,” Brickhouse said.
The group said they hope this is the first step in making a difference for the entire Hampton community.
More meetings are planned in the future and we’ll be sure to follow their progress and let you know what happens.
In a recent post in the Where is Noah? Facebook group, a woman who says she’s Noah’s grandmother shared her thoughts: