Man Accused In Stepdaughter's Death Found Incompetent To Stand Trial

Feb 28, 2017

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

  Charges have been dropped against a New Hampshire man accused of killing his 11-year-old stepdaughter by submerging her body in a river.

A court in Lancaster ruled Monday that 52-year-old Wendell Noyes was not competent to stand trial in Celina Cass' death and that his competency can't be restored. According to one evaluator, his mental illness creates a potentially serious likelihood of danger to others.

Noyes is accused of submerging Celina in the Connecticut River, where her body was found six days after she was reported missing in July 2011. Her disappearance led to a search in Stewartstown, a mile from the Canadian border.

Noyes was arrested on a second-degree murder charge in June 2016 at a psychiatric hospital, where he had been hospitalized for about six months.