Marc Anthony Bookal, aged 4 of 11 Benkard Ave. in the city of Newburgh, NY has been missing since Dec 14, 2009. His mother, Christina, the police and indeed the entire city is wondering: Where is little Marc?
Marc was last seen around 1pm on Dec. 14. He was in the care of Cory Byrd, 30, Christina Bookal's boyfriend. He said that the little boy had slipped outside while they were getting ready to go visit relatives. Byrd said he followed the boy outside just a few minutes later and found that he had disappeared.
The city of Newburgh Police Dept. were notified and they began an intensive door-to-door search for Marc. That search was later widened. They brought in search dogs, helicopters and received assistance from the NY State police and other agencies. Marc Anthony Bookal has not yet been located.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children issued the following notice regarding the Newburgh youngster:
|MARC A BOOKAL|
|Case Type: Endangered Missing|
|DOB: Oct 7, 2005||Sex: Male|
|Missing Date: Dec 14, 2009||Race: Black|
|Age Now: 4||Height: 3'6" (107 cm)|
|Missing City: NEWBURGH CITY||Weight: 42 lbs (19 kg)|
|Missing State : NY||Hair Color: Brown|
|Missing Country: United States||Eye Color: Brown|
|Case Number: NCMC1137211|
|Circumstances: Marc was last seen at his home on December 14, 2009 at approximately 1:00 p.m. He has a gap between his front teeth. Marc's skin is discolored on the back of each hand. He was last seen wearing a red long-sleeved shirt, gray Rocawear sweatpants, and white Nike sneakers.|
The day after admitting that 4-year-old Marc Bookal went missing while under his care, Cory Byrd was arrested by the City of Newburgh police on misdemeanor child endangerment charges. Byrd was also charged with violation of parole. He was arraigned in City Court and sent to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail or $2,500 bond on the misdemeanor charge, but he won't be able to leave the jail while his parole violation proceeding is pending.
Cory Byrd has a violent criminal record with at least one incident involving his own child.
Cory Byrd served five years and five months in state prison for the 2002 attack of an 18-year-old. Now 25 years old, the victim in that attack remembers Byrd as a “vicious animal” who brutally beat him and slashed his face even though he did everything Byrd asked.
The young man, who asked that his name be withheld, had come from out of town and stopped on Benkard Avenue to buy $10 worth of marijuana. Byrd and another man got in his car and stuck a gun against his ribs. They told him to drive. He was taken to a secluded street and they beat him nearly unconscious before Byrd delivered a final blow. It looked like a punch, but Byrd had a knife in his fist and opened a gash that split the young man's face from his right eye to his left ear.
“After I got cut, they left me there to die,” the young man said.
Doctors at Westchester Medical Center needed about 250 stitches to close the 7-inch gash.
At the request of the police Christina, the boy's mother, and Yul Bookal, the boy's biological father both took a polygraph test. Both were found to be truthful in their responses said Police Sgt. Paul Weber.
The police made a similar request of Cory Byrd through his lawyer, Erik Indzonka. However, according to his lawyer, Byrd has refused to participate.
In the meantime two anonymous donors have stepped up and offered a reward for information leading to the safe return of 4-year-old Marc Bookal. One donor offered $10,000 while the second one offered $5,000.
One other donor, the Carlie’s Crusade Foundation has also added $1,000 to the reward increasing the amount offered to $16,000. However, echoing what has been unsaid so far, the money is offered for the safe return of 4-year-old Marc Bookal or the recovery of his remains.
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the Carlie's Crusade reward may contact www.CarliesCrusade.org or at (800)496-6720 or 309-2961. Donations are in addition to the organization's contribution and tax deductible, officials said. To report any information about Bookal's whereabouts, call City of Newburgh police at 561-3131.