A father who said he murdered his son because he believed the 4-year-old was the Antichrist was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.
Ivan Henk pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder, a crime he acknowledged during an 2003 court hearing when he shouted to the boy’s mother that he killed Brendan Gonzalez “because he was the Antichrist. He had 666 on his forehead.”
As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.
The boy, who vanished Jan. 6, 2003, reportedly was last seen with Henk. Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox has said Henk killed the child in his mother’s garage.
The body has not been found. Henk led authorities to a trash bin in an Omaha suburb that had dried blood that matched Brendan’s DNA, but volunteers who sifted through the landfill where the bin was emptied found nothing after nearly two months of searching.
Asked by the judge Friday if he had anything to say before he was sentenced, Henk replied, “No, thanks,” and said he was ready to go to prison.
Brendan’s mother, Rebecca Gonzalez, called Henk’s sentencing anti-climatic.
“It feels OK,” she said. “I thought I was going to feel much better.”