CORONA, Calif. — A California missing child case turned horrific last week when the boy’s father was charged with torturing and killing the 8-year-old, whose remains have yet to be found.
Bryce Daniel McIntosh, 32, of Corona, has been charged with first-degree murder with a special circumstance of torture in the death of his son, Noah McIntosh. According to a court document obtained by KTLA, McIntosh bought two pairs of long cuffed gloves, 2-inch bolt cutters, four gallons of muriatic acid and a 128 oz. bottle of drain opener in connection with Noah's death.
McIntosh was seen on surveillance footage buying the suspicious items at Home Depot on March 4, the last day the boy’s mother initially claimed she saw him alive, the court document says. Authorities believe the boy was killed between March 3 and 4.
Scroll down to continue reading
More news from KIRO 7
Noah's mother, Jillian Marie Godfrey, 36, is in custody on child abuse charges, authorities said. She is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.
“It is with a heavy heart that the Corona Police Department must let our community know the missing child investigation regarding Noah McIntosh has been escalated to a homicide case,”
Noah's body has not been recovered, but Corona Police Chief George Johnstone said the traces of evidence found in the case "leave no doubt that Noah is the victim of a homicide," KTLA reported.
Godfrey called police just before 7 p.m. on March 12 asking for a welfare check on her son, who she said she had last seen March 4 when she dropped him off with McIntosh. Godfrey told investigators McIntosh later informed her that Noah had been missing since March 6.
When she asked McIntosh if he’d reported their son missing, McIntosh said he “had everything under control,” the court document says. The boy was never reported missing by his father, according to police.
Corona police officers went to McIntosh’s apartment March 12 and tried to reach him on his cellphone, but he refused to open the door or answer the phone. Investigators obtained a search warrant for the apartment and McIntosh’s vehicle the next day.
After initially refusing to come out of the apartment, McIntosh emerged with his 10-year-old daughter. He invoked his right to remain silent and requested a lawyer, the court document says.
Noah’s sister told investigators her brother was missing, but she was not home when he vanished. Investigators learned she had been staying with her grandfather, Steven McIntosh, for a couple of weeks. She went home to her father on March 10.
Steven McIntosh told investigators his son told him that same day that Noah was missing but refused to go to the police. According to the court document, the grandfather wanted to visit his son and grandson on March 5, but Bryce McIntosh told him they were both sick with food poisoning.
Noah’s sister told investigators she knew he was missing “because her daddy told her,” the court document says. She described her father abusing her brother, including making him sit in a bathtub of cold water and handcuffing the boy.
“(Redacted) described helping her daddy at times by holding Noah’s legs down,” the document reads.
During the search of Bryce McIntosh’s apartment, investigators, including FBI agents, confiscated and processed his cellphone, computers and other electronic devices. They also found handcuffs, zip ties, stained yellow towels and schoolwork with “Noah M.” written on it, the document says.
They found purple latex gloves in McIntosh’s BMW.
Read details of the Noah McIntosh investigation below. The details might be graphic for some readers.
The day after reporting her son missing, Godfrey went to the police department for another interview. During that interview, she changed her timeline of when she last saw Noah, the court document says. She told investigators she stayed at McIntosh’s apartment from March 1 to March 3.
Godfrey said she last saw Noah on March 2, when McIntosh took the boy into the bathroom.
“While Noah was in the bathroom, she heard Noah ask Bryce why he was hurting him,” the court document reads. “Jillian said when she left on Sunday (March 3), Noah had still not come out of the bathroom.”
Godfrey said she left on March 3 because McIntosh told her he needed to go to Home Depot, the document says.
That detail led detectives to Home Depot, where they found the surveillance footage of McIntosh.
On Godfrey’s cellphone, investigators found notes in which she was documenting McIntosh’s abuse of their son, the document says. The abuse included putting the boy in hot water or making him stay in cold water for hours.
Noah’s sister also told Godfrey her brother was put in the bathroom with his feet tied up, an investigator wrote.
McIntosh’s cellphone also contained a trove of evidence, including searches about the “normal heart rate for an 8-year-old” and “how sodium hydroxide works.” His computers showed searches about sulfuric acid and what type of plastic can withstand acid.
Data from his phone also showed McIntosh’s movements on March 4 and 5. According to the court document, investigators followed the information to an unincorporated area about 60 miles away in Aguanga, where they found a 32-gallon trash can, a document with “Noah M.” written on it and purple latex gloves like those found in McIntosh’s BMW.
They also found a plastic bag with apparent blood residue, parts of a Ninja blender, empty bottles of drain and oven cleaners, blankets, used cleaning wipes, more yellow towels and what appeared to be one of the long, cuffed gloves bought at Home Depot.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Office human remains detection K-9s alerted officers to the inside of the trash can and the plastic bag with the residue, the court document says. At least two of the items found abandoned tested positive for blood.
In a spot in Corona found through the cellphone data, detectives found another purple latex glove, more used cleaning wipes, a soiled yellow towel and part of a wooden spoon.
Investigators also learned that McIntosh went to a Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Corona on March 4, the document says. His purchases included a trash can like the one found in Aguanga and a 32 oz. bottle of sulfuric acid-based drain cleaner.
McIntosh also visited a Target store that night, where he bought two more bottles of drain opener.
Investigators conducted another search of McIntosh’s apartment and his garage on March 18, this time with the assistance of plumbers, who pulled P traps from the bathtubs, bathroom sinks and kitchen sink. A P trap is used to trap debris from a drain, prevent it from forming a clog within the home’s plumbing system.
“The assisting plumber told (an investigator) that the P traps for the bathtubs were cleaner than a normal P trap, considering the age of the building,” the document reads.
Investigators also found an owner’s manual for a Ninja blender, but the blender was missing from the apartment.
Corona police officials said Thursday that they are thankful for the collaboration with local, state and federal agencies in the search for Noah.
"Most importantly, we would like to graciously thank our Corona community for the outpour (sic) of support with the blue ribbons throughout the city and the prayer vigil held last Sunday," officials said in a statement.
They said the search for Noah continues.
© 2020 Cox Media Group