CRIME

Murder charge nixed against stepdad who is ruled incompetent

  • FILE - In this July 28, 2011 file photo, Lori McKearney, of Lancaster, N.H., right, and Kaylin Pettit, of Stewartstown, N.H., post missing posters for 11-year-old Celina Cass in Colebrook, N.H. She was reported missing from her home on July 26, 2011, and her body was recovered from the Connecticut River six days later. Her stepfather Wendell Noyes was charged with second-degree murder in her death. A court in Lancaster ruled Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, that Noyes was not competent to stand trial in Cass' death and charges were dropped. McKearney is Celina Cass's aunt. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, FIle)

    FILE - In this July 28, 2011 file photo, Lori McKearney, of Lancaster, N.H., right, and Kaylin Pettit, of Stewartstown, N.H., post missing posters for 11-year-old Celina Cass in Colebrook, N.H. She was reported missing from her home on July 26, 2011, and her body was recovered from the Connecticut River six days later. Her stepfather Wendell Noyes was charged with second-degree murder in her death. A court in Lancaster ruled Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, that Noyes was not competent to stand trial in Cass' death and charges were dropped. McKearney is Celina Cass's aunt. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, FIle)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 21, 2016 file photo, Wendell Noyes appears via a video arraignment from the county jail in Stewartstown, N.H., as prosecutor Jane Young, right, listens in district court in Berlin, N.H. Noyes was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 11-year-old stepdaughter Celina Cass, who was reported missing from her home on July 26, 2011. A court in Lancaster ruled Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, that Noyes was not competent to stand trial in Cass' death and charges were dropped. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this June 21, 2016 file photo, Wendell Noyes appears via a video arraignment from the county jail in Stewartstown, N.H., as prosecutor Jane Young, right, listens in district court in Berlin, N.H. Noyes was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 11-year-old stepdaughter Celina Cass, who was reported missing from her home on July 26, 2011. A court in Lancaster ruled Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, that Noyes was not competent to stand trial in Cass' death and charges were dropped. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.