A Corona man accused of killing his 8-year-old son and trying to conceal the evidence using acid and other products pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and torture charges.
Bryce Daniel McIntosh, 32, was initially arrested about two weeks ago and charged with child abuse in connection with the disappearance of Noah McIntosh.
An amended complaint was filed against the defendant last week after Corona police detectives procured additional evidence pointing to McIntosh's alleged perpetration of a homicide.
The defendant was slated to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon at the Riverside Hall of Justice on the murder count, as well as a special circumstance allegation of torture. However, deputies informed Riverside County Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno that medical staff at the Robert Presley Detention Center infirmary had not cleared McIntosh to go to court.
The type of treatment McIntosh was receiving, or whether he's under observation as a suicide risk, was not disclosed. Magno rescheduled the hearing for this morning. McIntosh is scheduled to appear in court on April 16 for a felony settlement conference, court records show.
An arrest warrant affidavit filed by Corona police Detective Mario Hernandez last week laid out a timeline suggesting that Noah, whose 9th birthday would have been this past Sunday, went missing on March 2, when he was last seen by his mother, Jillian Marie Godrey, who 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.
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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, 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, and she acknowledged assisting her father on one occasion, holding "Noah's legs down" in a bathtub full of cold water, Hernandez said.
McIntosh refused to speak with detectives. A search warrant was obtained and served at the defendant's apartment on March 13, resulting in his arrest for alleged child abuse. He was booked in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Investigators seized McIntosh's computers and mobile phone.
They 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 via the internet 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 also purchased from a Lowe's Home Improvement Center in Corona a 32-gallon trash can and a 32-ounce bottle of sulfuric acid drain opener, according to court papers.
Data extracted from McIntosh's mobile 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 to 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 one, 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, 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.
He said 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 vehicle during the period in question was asked to contact detectives at (951) 279-3659.