“It seems like Noah’s death was unique and unprecedented. He’s not. Children die in septic tanks every year, but unlike Paul and Ashley, few of their parents see the inside of a courtroom.”
In Late Edition: Crime Beat Chronicles, we present notable true crime stories as reported by journalists for Lee Enterprises’ dozens of diverse publications across America.
For this latest season we wanted to highlight a series of The Roanoke Times this was first reported and produced in 2018 by the journalists Jacob Demmitt and Robby Korth.
A 5-year-old child went missing in Dublin, Virginia in the spring of 2015. When his body was discovered days later in the family’s septic tank, the mother was prosecuted by both the court and social media. where misinformation, accusations and vindictive comments circulate freely.
It’s a heartbreaking and tragic story, but Roanoke Times reporters Jacob Demmitt and Robby Korth went to great lengths to present an honest and well-rounded narrative that examines how a community failed against one of their own, and at the same time broader implications such as the impact of Facebook, the stigma of drug addiction in rural America, and the distortion of facts.
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