Years of Disturbing Child Abuse Reports Came Before Boy’s Disappearance, Father Faces Murder Charge

CNN Newsource
By CNN Newsource
August 9, 2019US News
Years of Disturbing Child Abuse Reports Came Before Boy’s Disappearance, Father Faces Murder Charge
Police tape in a file image. (Getty Images)

Corona (KTLA)—The father of an 8-year-old Corona boy who has been missing for months was accused of abuse for years—a disturbing set of allegations that describe the child being sent to school in a diaper and often punished violently for “potty issues.”

More than a dozen reports—many of them dating back to 2017—were made to the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services regarding Noah McIntosh. The department released records this week outlining the years of reported abuse.

Bryce McIntosh pleaded not guilty to murder in April while the boy’s mother, Jillian Godfrey, pleaded not guilty to willful child cruelty. Authorities have said he bought four gallons of muriatic acid, bolt cutters, two pairs of long-cuffed gloves, and a bottle of drain opener from a Home Depot on March 4—the day Noah was last seen.

Many of the allegations in the newly released records relate to Noah suffering from bladder exstrophy, a rare condition in which one’s bladder is exposed to the exterior skin surface or is essentially located “outside the body,” as many of the records explain.

His father once told police Noah had undergone four major surgeries and two minor surgeries to treat the condition, records show. One of those surgeries was performed within days of authorities responding to a report of abuse.

Noah had been living with his grandparents in Anaheim for more than seven years before he began staying with his father in Corona in August 2017. Late that month, social workers were told Noah had gone to visit his father and had not come back for three weeks as his father refused to let him leave and enrolled him and his sister in a local school.

The boy’s mother, Jillian Godfrey, later told Riverside County authorities she had decided to live with Bryce McIntosh and their two children.

When asked Thursday, Aug. 8 about why Noah McIntosh was released to his parents’ custody despite abuse allegations, a representative of the Department of Public Social Services said he could not provide further details due to confidentiality laws.

A report to social services on Aug. 18, 2017, stated that Bryce McIntosh would place Noah in a “bathtub full of freezing water” and dunk his head underwater, with the boy’s hands zip-tied together behind his back along with his feet.

Noah told a social worker his father did this as punishment for urinating his pants, a result of the bladder condition he suffered from since birth.

He also said his father made him eat “chocolate candies”—which his father later told authorities were laxatives—and then made him defecate in the bathtub.

“His father makes him clean it up with a bag,” the report states.

Six days later, a law enforcement officer visited Noah’s school to speak with him about the allegations. The boy again said his father would “dunk” him underwater if he “doesn’t pee on the potty” and would place zip ties on his hands and feet, a statement from the officer explains. He also told the officer that his father would blindfold him while this was happening.

When Noah’s parents arrived to the school soon after, his mother “immediately” said it was her father who made the report and denied Noah was being physically abused, according to the officer’s statement.

Godfrey accused her father of making false abuse allegations because he “doesn’t like” Noah’s father, who initially denied the boy was his son, the officer wrote. She also said her father threatened to call social services several times.

She added that her father was just upset because he was close to the grandchildren and had taken issue with Bryce McIntosh putting the boy in “timeout when he pees his pants.”

She denied ever seeing the boy abused and other records indicate she would sleep during the day as she worked nights. Noah also told the officer he never told his mother about the abuse.

However, another later report to social services—made after Noah was sent to school without pants—noted that Godfrey “didn’t seem protective at all.”

It was nearly three months after that initial August report when social services were told that Noah had come to school without pants. He was wearing only a diaper with a shirt and shoes.

It’s unclear who made the report but it describes Noah’s father as saying, “if he wants to be a baby, I’m sending him to school in a diaper.” His father also said Noah had a change of shorts in his backpack.

But when Noah went to the school restroom to change his clothes, he came out wearing “red/pink girl’s shorts and a zip-up hoodie with butterflies on it,” the report states. He told the person who called social services that wearing the clothes made him “sad,” and the school principal went to Target to get him another change of clothes after other children teased him.

The same report states Noah “usually smells of urine but the school has been trying to work with the father.”

At that time, Bryce McIntosh told school officials that his son was having accidents intentionally and later told authorities the boy was just being “lazy”—despite telling the school earlier in the year that Noah suffered from a medical condition.

Among the other allegations are that McIntosh once threw a wallet at the boy’s head, giving him a black eye, and threatened to “flush his head down the toilet,” the records state. Noah’s mother was aware of that threat, the records state, but it’s not clear if she ever confronted McIntosh over the accusations.

He was also accused of placing the boy in zip ties before he “hung him upside down and gagged him,” the records state.

Noah had told social workers he was afraid to report the abuse for fear that his father would punish him even worse.

When police responded to the boy’s school, the officer’s statement explains, they later interviewed his parents. Bryce McIntosh denied the allegations—saying he never used zip ties on the boy but had some in his garage that were “used for cars.” He also said he believes Noah’s grandfather made up the story about the zip ties.

He admitted to punishing Noah for his bladder issues but said he would have the boy take a “cold shower,” according to the officer’s statement.

During the interview, McIntosh said he and Noah’s mother had “tried everything” to deal with his bladder issues. He decided to allow the boy to poop in his diaper, saying “if he was going to ‘pee’ in his diaper like a baby, he will have to ‘poop’ in his diaper like a baby,” according to the officer’s statement.

He also claimed Noah had been potty-trained by that time and told police that he was “not trying to torture the poor kid.”

The officer’s statement also says Bryce McIntosh refused to allow police or social services to visit the home, offering to allow them to do so the next day. But when the officer arrived the next day, no one answered the door.

“I believed someone was inside the apartment, but just did not want to open the door,” the officer wrote in his statement. He also said he called McIntosh to say he was at the home but never heard back.

McIntosh had also tried accusing Noah’s grandfather of abuse but refused to allow the boy to have a forensic exam when police suggested that.

Two years later, in March 2019, Noah went missing after being dropped off at his father’s home. His mother called police six days after McIntosh told her he had disappeared.

In the days that followed, Noah’s grandfather, Douglas Godfrey, broke into tears as he told of suspecting the 8-year-old’s father had something to do with his disappearance.

“A lot of people failed us, and I’m gonna put myself right there with them. I failed him too,” he said.

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