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Riverside County grand jury indicts father for 8-year-old’s murder and torture

Noah McIntosh, 8, is shown in a photograph released by the Corona Police Department, left, and in a family photo.
Noah McIntosh, 8, is shown in a photograph released by the Corona Police Department, left, and in a family photo.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5)

A Riverside County grand jury has indicted a Corona resident for the murder and torture of his 8-year-old son, Noah McIntosh, who went missing in March 2019.

An indictment unsealed Friday charged Bryce McIntosh, 34, with one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation of torture and one count of willful child cruelty. In a news release, officials said Riverside County Dist. Atty. Mike Hestrin will decide whether to seek the death penalty.

McIntosh pleaded not guilty plea to both counts and denied the special circumstance allegation at an arraignment Friday, said John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. McIntosh’s attorney did not return a request for comment.

Prosecutors decided to present the case to a grand jury after previously filing the same charges against McIntosh due to “numerous delays in the case moving forward to a preliminary hearing,” according to the release. The boy’s mother, Jillian Godfrey, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child endangerment in connection to Noah last December and has not yet been sentenced.

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Prosecutors said that in March 2019, Godfrey called Corona police and told officials that McIntosh had said Noah had been missing for several days. A day into their investigation, authorities searched McIntosh’s apartment and arrested him.

Investigators tracked McIntosh’s movements using his cellphone’s data and searched an area of Aguanga, Riverside County. They found a trash can, a paper that said “Noah M,” latex gloves, empty bottles of drain cleaner and a plastic bag with residue consistent with blood, according to prosecutors.

McIntosh had been abusing Noah, including by holding him in hot and cold water for hours at a time, the release said. Authorities discovered McIntosh had purchased four gallons of acid, bolt cutters, a trash can and other items around the time the Noah disappeared.

In June 2020, a lawsuit filed on behalf of Noah’s older sister against Riverside County alleged that social workers were aware of allegations of abuse against the boy almost two years before his death but had failed to intervene. It said that “horrific abuse and neglect” by his father triggered at least three referrals by Riverside County Child Protective Services.

The siblings lived for several years with their maternal grandparents until July 2017, when they went to visit their father in Corona, the lawsuit stated. He refused to return them, and a month later, social workers were called to investigate claims of abuse.

According to the complaint, workers learned that Noah’s hands and feet had been zip-tied together for long periods of time and that his head had been dunked underwater, among other abuses. It held that the workers acknowledged in writing that McIntosh had “inflicted serious physical harm on Noah” but that when the boy’s parents refused to cooperate with the investigation, the workers closed their file.

Noah’s body has not yet been found.

Times staff writers Alejandra Reyes-Velarde and Hannah Fry contributed to this report.


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