The disappearance of 8-year-old Corona boy Noah McIntosh is now considered a homicide case, although the boy's body has still not been found, and both parents have been charged, investigators announced at a news conference Thursday.
Noah's father, Bryce McIntosh, has been charged with first-degree murder, with a special circumstance of torture, prosecutors said.
Noah's body has not been located, but Corona Police Chief George Johnstone said traces of evidence have been found that "leave no doubt that Noah is the victim of a homicide."
In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, authorities did not provide specific details.
Johnstone said the investigation led detectives to various locations throughout the county including Temescal Valley, Aguanga, and Murrieta, where further evidence was found.
"Today, we have filed in court a charge of first-degree murder against Mr. McIntosh. Additionally, we filed a special circumstance murder of torture," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. "That will make Mr. McIntosh, if he is convicted of all the charges, his punishment would be life without possibility of parole. It also does make him eligible for the death penalty."
Noah was reported missing by his mother in early March, after the boy had moved into his father's apartment and she had not been able to contact the boy in almost two weeks, police said.
Both parents were arrested earlier this month, accused of child abuse.
Godfrey is charged with child endangerment and remains in custody on $500,000 bail.
The father has no previous arrests and the mother is not believed to have a criminal history, Johnstone said.
"The Corona Police Department will continue to investigate the disappearance of Noah McIntosh and will remain steadfast until Noah is located," the chief said, using the same language as a police news release.
Authorities are asking anyone in the areas of Corona, Temescal Valley, Murrieta and Aguanga who may have seen Noah, Bryce McIntosh, a black BMW 330i with California plate No. 5MKE807, or Jillian Godfrey between Feb. 20 and March 12 to contact Detective Mario Hernandez at 951-279-3659, or email Mario.Hernandez@CoronaCA.gov.