The father of a missing California boy who hasn’t been seen since early March is now accused of murdering him, police announced at a Thursday press conference — and chilling new court filings provide insight into the alleged abuse the child endured.
The disappearance of Noah McIntosh, 8, is now considered a “no-body homicide,” Riverside County District Attorney Mark Hestrin said at the press conference.
Bryce Daniel McIntosh, 32, is charged with first-degree murder with a special circumstance of torture, which makes him eligible for the death penalty, Hestrin said.
On the same day, he allegedly searched online for “normal heart rate for 8 year old.” Police allege he also searched for information about sodium hydroxide, a corrosive chemical that can dissolve flesh.
Noah’s older sister allegedly told police how her father abused the boy by handcuffing him the bathtub as punishment.
McIntosh had been in custody since March 13 along with the boy’s mother, 36-year-old Jillian Godfrey, on felony child abuse charges, according to jail records.
Corona police Chief George Johnstone said police “collect[ed] trace evidence that leave[s] no doubt that Noah is indeed the victim of a homicide,” though authorities declined to provide further details.
On March 12, Godfrey contacted police saying she hadn’t seen Noah for almost two weeks, Johnstone said.
Noah’s parents lived apart, and a search of McIntosh’s apartment the next day allegedly gave police probable cause to arrest both parents, Johnstone said.
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Police did not discuss a motive.
Johnstone said Noah’s parents have not been helpful with the investigation, describing it as “a point of frustration with the investigation, that the father has not been cooperative and the mother has very limited information. It does not make sense that the parents of an 8-year-old child do not know his whereabouts or be able to give us specific details as to where he was last seen, or where he last was.”
Last Sunday night, hundreds of local residents gathered for a vigil honoring Noah, where they wore blue, his favorite color, ABC7 reports.
“We felt helpless,” Corona resident Rhonda Leafstone told the station. “No child deserves to go through any abuse.”
Neighbor Brooklynn Swope told NBC Los Angeles, “To me, Noah brought joy every time I saw him.”
McIntosh is being held without bail and Godfrey’s bail is $500,000.
It was not immediately clear if they have retained attorneys. The Press-Enterprise reports both have not yet been arraigned and have not yet entered pleas.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Senior Detective Mario Hernandez at 951-279-3659 or at email@example.com. The car’s California license-plate number is 5MKE807.