Marc Bookal disappeared while in the care of his mother’s boyfriend, Corey Byrd, on December 14, 2009 in his motherâ€™s home in Newburgh, N.Y. Byrd claimed that while he was getting dressed to go to a relatives house that the boy must have went out the front door which was left open and he was never seen again.
Byrd was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He reportedly refused to take a polygraph test when the mother and father of the child both took it, and they each passed when questioned about the childâ€™s disappearance.
Three months later, on March 24, 2010 the remains of a child, which later proved to be that of little Marc Bookal, were found in a wooded area stuffed inside a bag. Byrd was charged with four counts of homicide and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.
During the murder trial Byrdâ€™s attorney, Joseph Brown rested without calling a single witness. He asked the judge to dismiss the indictment. â€œThereâ€™s been no evidence presented to the court that there were any intentional acts created by Mr. Byrd to cause the death of Marc Bookal,â€ he said. Similar arguments were made for the manslaughter counts. Brown argued that as for the evidence tampering charges, there was nothing tying the white sweatshirt to the case and no evidence that Byrd had disposed of the body.
A forensic scientist stated during the trial that Marcâ€™s DNA was all over the sweatpants and sneakers that Byrd was wearing and that the police had found a spot on a white sweat shirt soaking in a bathtub that Marcâ€™s DNA was consistent with.
The judge denied a mistrial and the case was given to an Orange County Court jury who deliberated for only 4 Â½ hours before giving a verdict of guilty of second degree murder and of tampering with physical evidence.
After the verdict was announced, Marc’s mother, Christina Bookal said, â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s enough. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s enough at all. For the simple fact that the time my son supposedly went missing from the time he found the body, until now, I donâ€™t think it is enough. I donâ€™t think there is enough time to repay what he has done.â€
Corey Byrd is facing life in prison now. He will be sentenced on March 8th. Of course the defense plans to appeal the verdict. I do hope if they win his appeal that they will find him guilty again. Anyone that can do this to an innocent child doesnâ€™t deserve to be free to walk to streets again. I pray that he will never leave prison again.