RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – A Corona man accused of killing his 8-year-old son earlier this month purchased acid and other products around the time of the child’s disappearance, as well as conducted internet searches that raised suspicions about what he was doing at the time, according to court papers released Friday.
Bryce Daniel McIntosh, 32, is charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and a special circumstance allegation of torture in the death of Noah McIntosh.
The defendant, who’s slated to be arraigned April 2 at the Riverside Hall of Justice, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
An arrest warrant affidavit filed by Corona police Detective Mario Hernandez laid out a timeline suggesting that Noah – whose 9th birthday would have been March 31 – went missing on March 2, when he was last seen by his mother, Jillian Marie Godrey. She is charged with child endangerment and is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Riverside jail.
Godfrey, 36, waited until March 12 to report Noah missing, Hernandez said. Godfrey told police she had not been able to contact Noah for almost two weeks.
According to the detective, the woman had documented instances of alleged abuse, including “Bryce admitting to putting Noah in hot water, Noah being placed in cold water for approximately 2 1/2 hours, Noah being put in a tub of cold water for over six hours, and … Noah in Bryce’s bathroom with his feet tied up.”
The last time she saw her son, Godfrey told investigators that McIntosh had taken Noah into the bathroom of his apartment at 4637 Temescal Canyon Road and the boy asked his father “why he was hurting him,” according to the affidavit.
Investigators spoke with Bryce’s 11-year-old sister Chloe who acknowledged assisting her father in holding “Noah’s legs down” in a bathtub full of cold water on one occasion, Hernandez said.
McIntosh refused to speak with detectives. According to the affidavit, after a search warrant was obtained and served at the defendant’s apartment on March 13, he immediately requested to speak with an attorney.
Investigators seized McIntosh’s computers and mobile phone after he was booked for the alleged child abuse. Police also found handcuffs, zip ties, yellow towels “with stains” and purple latex gloves, according to the affidavit.
After accessing the data on the defendant’s phone, detectives discovered that McIntosh had sought information online on “normal heart rate for 8 year old,” “how exactly sodium hydroxide works,” “sodium hydroxide to water,” “what exactly is sulfuric acid,” “what does sulfuric acid do to aluminum” and “what kind of plastic can stand (muriatic) acid,” Hernandez wrote.
He said detectives also confirmed McIntosh had purchased the following items from a Corona Home Depot on March 4: Long-cuffed gloves, 24-inch bolt cutters, four gallons of muriatic acid and a 128-ounce bottle of drain opener.
Later that same day, the defendant had also purchased the following from a Lowe’s Home Improvement Center in Corona: 32-gallon trash can and a 32-ounce bottle of sulfuric acid drain opener, according to court papers.
Data extracted from McIntosh’s cell phone showed that he made a trip on March 4 to remote Wilson Valley Road in Aguanga – more than 50 miles east of his residence – as well as Squaw Mountain Road in Temescal Valley the next day, according to the affidavit.
Corona police officers and FBI agents visited the locations, and at the first site, they found a trash can, a paper with “Noah M.” written on it, purple latex gloves, a plastic bag with blood residue, parts from a kitchen blender, empty bottles of drain cleaner, blankets and yellow towels, Hernandez said.
During a news briefing Wednesday announcing that a murder charge had been filed, police Chief George Johnstone said Noah’s loss “tears at the heart of every person who has touched this case.”
Johnstone would not disclose a possible motive.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said he was “confident this was a homicide.”
“We are asking people to reflect back,” Johnstone said. “If there is anyone who may have seen Noah, you’re asked to contact the police department.”
He said Bryce McIntosh’s black BMW 330i is a key element in the alleged killing. The license plate is California 5MKE807. Anyone who may have seen the car during the period in question is asked to contact detectives at 951-279-3659.
Cinnaholic, located at 2670 Tuscany Street Suite 104 in Corona, is selling a “Noah Cinnamon Roll” with 10 percent of proceeds being donated to the Joyful Hearts Foundation for child abuse awareness. The fundraiser runs through the end of April.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)