Friday December 11, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office issued a statement concerning the unsealing of an indictment against 34-year-old Bryce McIntosh.
Sometime in March 2019 8-year-old Noah McIntosh went missing. His mother, Jillian Marie Godfrey, made a call to police on March 12 requesting a welfare check after not seeing her son since March 4 when she had dropped Noah off at McIntosh's apartment.
According to the arrest affidavit, Godfrey told police that McIntosh had told her on March 8 that Noah had been missing since March 6, but had not reported him missing to police as he had "everything under control."
McIntosh was charged in April with one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation of torture, and one count of willful child cruelty, but the District Attorney's Office grew frustrated over "numerous delays" which kept the case from proceeding. In order to make some progress, they presented the case to the grand jury seeking an indictment.
On November 19 they returned the sealed indictment, once again for a murder charge with a special circumstance allegation of torture, and one count of willful child cruelty. The indictment by the grand jury allows for McIntosh to be held over for trial.
McIntosh entered a not guilty plea to both of the charges against him and denied the allegation of torture.
The inclusion of a special circumstance makes McIntosh eligible for the death penalty if convicted. District Attorney Mike Hestrin has not yet decided whether or not to seek a death sentence.
McIntosh is due back in court on February 18, 2021 for a trial readiness conference.
Last year Godfrey pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment. She had been scheduled to be sentenced in April, but that has been delayed until next year.
Noah's body has not been recovered. Evidence gathered to date though has been sufficient so as to "leave no doubt that Noah is the victim of a homicide," according to corona Police Department Chief George Johnstone.
Detectives believe that in the days following the last time Noah was seen alive McIntosh purchased a 32 gallon trash can, four gallons of muriatic acid, several bottles of drain opener, bolt cutters, and long cuffed gloves.
Investigators used data obtained from McIntosh's cell phone to track his movements and ended up in an unincorporated area of Aguanga. There, they found a trash can that seemed to match one that McIntosh was seen purchasing on store cameras.
Inside the trash can, investigators evidently found a paper with "Noah M" written on it, several purple latex gloves, parts of a Ninja blender, other cleaning supplies, and a bag that reportedly contained a residue consistent with blood.
In August records were revealed which showed that DPSS had eighteen months of records related to Noah which detailed abuse and neglect that he and another family member had been subjected to.
Court documents revealed that McIntosh had searched terms including, "the normal heart rate for 8 year old," "can you buy sulfuric acid," and "exactly how sodium hydroxide works," on the internet.
Despite numerous instances of abuse that were submitted for investigation, all but two of them were deemed to be “unfounded,” "inconclusive," or left open without any determination at all. In the end, social workers did not consider that children were in danger and did not see fit to remove Noah from McIntosh's custody.