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Mother Charged with Murder and Child Abuse After One of Her Twin Babies Died of Starvation, Other Was "Near Death"

"Officers as well as crime scene investigators noted that the five-month-old was skin and bones and could see where his joints were visible," the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office said. 

By Elisabeth Ford
Five Tips On How To Report Child Abuse

A North Carolina woman was charged with murder and child abuse after her 5-month-old son died of starvation, while his twin brother was found severely malnourished and close to death.

Tamiya Tashaun Tomlin was charged Monday with a count of first-degree murder, according to Guilford County jail records.

The 24-year-old was initially arrested on two counts of felony child abuse resulting in serious physical injury on December 28, 2022, and was issued a total of $500,000 secured bond then.

Warning: This story contains disturbing information.

On Christmas of last year, Tomlin called 911 reporting that one of her twin infants was unresponsive, according to Fox-affiliated WGHP, citing the Guilford County District Attorney’s Office.

The mother told police she put her sons down for a nap after feeding them, and that she then also went to sleep.

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“When she woke up a couple hours later, her blankets were soiled and she looked at one of her twins and he was not breathing, so she called 9-1-1,” the district attorney’s office said. “First responders took the twins to the hospital. One of the twins was pronounced dead at the hospital. Officers as well as crime scene investigators noted that the five-month-old was skin and bones and could see where his joints were visible, and he appeared to be very malnourished.”

A mugshot of Tamiya Tashaun Tomlin

According to the DA’s office, an autopsy report later confirmed that the boy’s cause of death was homicide, due to starvation and malnutrition, WGHP reported.

The twin who lived was also reported to be malnourished, and suffering from hypothermia and a low heart rate.

Doctors at the time informed investigators that the emaciated surviving boy was “also near death due to malnutrition,” according to the district attorney’s office, which said Tomlin had a record of alleged child neglect in Ohio.

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At Tomlin’s bond hearing Tuesday, the judge informed her that she could face life in prison, or the death penalty, if convicted of first-degree murder, according to Law & Crime.

Prosecutors noted at the hearing that investigators found “minimal food” in Tomlin’s home in Greensboro. They also said there wasn't any fresh formula and that the milk in the residence was curdled or spoiled. 

As the prosecution explained the state of the home, Tomlin expressed distress, crying into her hands, according to Law & Crime.

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The babies were born premature, each weighing only 4.5 pounds at birth and had THC — the psychoactive compound in marijuana — in their systems. The boys had only gained half a pound within the next five months, said prosecutors, requesting Tomlin be held without bond.

A woman who said she was Tomlin’s sister told the judge at Tuesday's court hearing that she and Tomlin had fed the babies earlier Christmas Day, Law & Crime reported. She also said that they brought all the babies’ food to the hospital when the twins were taken there, which is why there was none in the house when investigators were at the scene.

The judge ordered Tomlin to remain held without bond. Her next scheduled court appearance is August 22.

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