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Corona man bought acid, drain opener and bolt cutters around time son disappeared, records show

Bryce McIntosh, 32, appears in court in Riverside County this week. The Corona man is charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of his 8-year-old son, Noah.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5 )

The father of a missing 8-year-old Corona boy who has been charged with murder in the child’s death purchased bolt cutters, four gallons of muriatic acid, a 32-gallon trash can and several bottles of drain opener around the time his son was last seen in early March, law enforcement officials wrote in court records.

Bryce McIntosh, 32, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to a murder charge with a special circumstance allegation of torture in connection to his son Noah McIntosh’s disappearance. Detectives said last week they found evidence that indicates Noah is dead and links McIntosh to the crime, but did not provide details at the time. Noah’s body has not been found.

A declaration in support of an arrest warrant for McIntosh filed in Riverside County Superior Court last week details authorities’ investigation into Noah’s disappearance and what police allege is a history of abuse inflicted on the boy by his father. Noah’s mother, Jillian Godfrey, 36, remains in custody on child abuse charges, though she is not suspected in her son’s death, officials said.

Noah’s 10-year-old sister, whose name is redacted in court records, told police she saw her brother handcuffed in a bathtub filled with cold water. Authorities also found notes on Godfrey’s cellphone where they said she was documenting McIntosh abusing their son.

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“Examples included Bryce admitting to putting Noah in hot water, Noah being placed in cold water for approximately 2 ½ hours, Noah being put in a tub of cold water for over six hours and [McIntosh’s daughter] telling Jillian that Noah was in Bryce’s bathroom with his feet tied up,” Corona police Det. Mario Hernandez wrote in the declaration.

Godfrey told investigators that she last saw her son on March 2, when McIntosh took the boy into a bathroom in his apartment.

“While Noah was in the bathroom she heard Noah ask Bryce why he was hurting him,” Hernandez wrote.

Noah had not come out of the bathroom by the time Godfrey left the apartment on March 3. In the days following, McIntosh searched various phrases, including “normal heart rate for 8 year old,” “how exactly sodium hydroxide works,” “sodium hydroxide to water” and “what kind of plastic can stand uriatic [sic] acid,” according to the declaration.

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

Based on location data extracted from McIntosh’s cellphone, authorities searched an unincorporated area of Aguanga, where they found a trash can, a paper with “Noah M” written on it, several purple latex gloves, a plastic bag with residue consistent with blood, parts of a Ninja blender, empty bottles of drain cleaner, empty cans of oven cleaner, blankets, yellow towels and a long blue cuffed glove, according to the document.

Many of the items matched products that were either found inside McIntosh’s apartment, in his car or that he was seen purchasing at stores on security footage, the document states.

Plumbers who examined hardware from the bathtubs, bathroom sinks and kitchen sink in McIntosh’s apartment during the investigation told detectives the pipes for the bathtubs were cleaner than normal considering the age of the building, according to the declaration. Authorities have not specified how they suspect Noah was killed.

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On March 8, McIntosh told Godfrey that Noah had been missing for two days. When she asked if he had called police to report Noah’s disappearance, McIntosh said he had “everything under control,” the declaration states.

Godfrey called police herself four days later to request a welfare check on the boy. A day into their investigation, authorities served a search warrant at McIntosh’s apartment and arrested him. He is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside without bail, according to jail records.

If convicted, McIntosh faces life in prison without parole. The charges against him would make him subject to the death penalty, according to prosecutors.

“This tears [at] the heart of every person that has touched this case,” Corona Police Chief George Johnstone said last week. “There is no more trust a child should have than in their parents. In our hearts, we know the best we can do is bring justice for Noah.”

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hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @Hannahnfry


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