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Father, stepmother could face charges after missing boy found alive in basement
Some people just shouldn't be parents.
Father, stepmother could face charges after missing boy found alive in basement
Posted: Jun 25, 2014 10:19 PM EDTUpdated: Jun 26, 2014 2:30 PM EDT
12-year-old Charlie Bothuell found alive in basement
DETROIT (WJBK) - Charlie Bothuell IV was overcome with emotion after learning his 12-year-old son who had been missing for nearly two weeks had been found alive in the basement of their own Detroit townhouse.
"I didn't know that he was in the basement. I searched. My wife searched. We've had dozens of police officers, FBI agents were here, dogs. We've all been searching for my son," he says.
It was the fifth time police had been to the family's town house on Nicolet Place but this time investigators noticed something different in the basement outside a door that is connected to an underground tunnel - a barricade, and behind that, some food, a place to sleep and 12-year-old Charlie crouched down behind a barrel.
"There's no way he could have erected this make-shift area of concealment, I'll call it. He certainly was excited to see us. I had a chance to actually talk and embrace Charlie," says Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
In the basement where Charlie was found, a tunnel leads from apartment to apartment and to the outside. The boy likely could have come and gone whenever he needed to.
According to sources, Charlie told investigators it was his stepmother, Monique, who was helping him hide out and giving him food.
"My client, Mr. Bothuell and his wife, had no participation in this. They would have not brought this entire media circus, ... FBI, all of this - for what purpose? For what gain?" says family attorney Mark Magidson.
Charlie V was last seen June 14. His stepmother told police the boy didn't complete his daily exercise routine and she informed his father. Worried how his father would react, Charlie took off and never came back.
There was several searches for the boy, but there may be a reason Charlie did not want to be found. Police are investigating a serious case of child abuse we're told the father considered discipline.
The boy, who was home schooled and on a strict exercise routine, was often beat with a PVC pipe that has now been taken in as evidence.
In fact, sources say blood was found in the boy's room and on some of his clothes. That's why police widened the scope of the investigation and, at first, wouldn't rule homicide out.
His father admits to discipline but maintains his son was never abused.
"It's only evidence if there was some crime committed. No crime committed here. That's not what happened," the father says.
Fox 2 has learned the father is expected to face child abuse charges in the next couple of days. Fox 2's Taryn Asher reports a warrant will be handed over to the prosecutor. Charlie's stepmother could also face a few charges.
Meanwhile, 12-year-old Charlie was treated at Children's Hospital and released. He is said to be in good physical health. He spent the night in the hospital with his biological mother.
The Father was on Nancy Grace when told they found the boy in his basement.
(CNN) -- An 11-day search for a missing Michigan boy came to a bizarre conclusion Wednesday when he was discovered alive and well, hidden in the basement of his father's home in Detroit.
Finding 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell resolves the key issue in the missing child case, but the circumstances of his discovery leave other questions hanging.
"I've never seen anything quite like this," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told CNN affiliate WXYZ-TV.
"We found him barricaded in the basement, behind boxes and a large five-gallon drum. There's no way he could have erected this makeshift area of concealment."
Yet the boy's father said authorities checked the basement multiple times before Wednesday. And on Thursday, Detroit police spokesman Sgt. Mike Woody told CNN it appeared the child had arrived in the basement only recently and didn't appear to be captive.
Still, Woody said that evidence -- including bloody clothing that investigators found at the home -- indicate something might have been "afoul."
As of noon Thursday, police had not questioned the boy. "We want to make sure he gets proper psychological services first," Woody said.
Authorities are waiting for child services to arrive.
Father learns newson live TV
Adding to the drama, Charlie's father, Charles Bothuell IV, heard the revelation that the child had been found during a live TV interview Wednesday with HLN's Nancy Grace.
When Grace told him the news, Bothuell became visibly upset, looking dazed and bewildered, breathing hard and clutching his chest.
When he recovered enough to speak, he said he had no idea how his son could have turned up in his house.
"I checked my basement," Bothuell said. "The FBI checked my basement. The police checked my basement. My wife checked my basement. I've been down there several times. We've all been checking." Investigators had not spoken with the boy's father Thursday.
Charlie disappeared on June 14, a Saturday night, when he walked out of the house.
"He had -- you know, not done some of his chores and instead of arguing at him or fussing or anything, my wife just said OK," his father told Grace during an earlier appearance. "I got a call back from my wife at 9:45 saying that Charlie was gone."
The father said the family then launched a desperate search.
"I've been going door to door since he disappeared," he said. "We didn`t sleep. We did fliers. We called family members. And we have been doing everything we can since to get the word out to get our son back home."
Police spokesman: Charlie didn't appear to be captive
Woody, the Detroit police spokesman, said Thursday that police were executing a search warrant at the home Wednesday afternoon when they found Charlie in a the corner of a small basement room behind a furnace and a mechanical unit.
Woody said something in particular led police to the basement but declined to say what it was.
Charlie smiled at police and didn't appear to be a captive, Woody said.
It appeared he arrived there recently, and investigators found cereal and soda in the area, Woody said.
The basement had no restroom, but investigators are working on an assumption that he had access to one, according to Woody.
Woody said police have not ruled out charges in the case. He said investigators found bloody clothing at the home but did not elaborate on its significance or say where exactly it was found.
On Wednesday,Craig, the police chief, said investigators had searched the home four times, including once with a cadaver dog.
"We're not certain Charlie was here during those visits," he said.
After Charlie was found, he was taken to receive medical treatment, police said. He has since been released from the hospital with a clean bill of health, Woody said.
The police chief was asked during an impromptu news conference Wednesday whether an adult was responsible for hiding the boy in the basement.
"We're not ruling that out," he said. "It would be hard for me to sit here and tell you that someone didn't know Charlie was there, but I can't say definitively."
'I love my son'
Later, following his HLN interview, Bothuell told reporters he was shocked by the discovery of his son in his basement, responding angrily to reporters' questions about who might have known Charlie was there.
"For anybody to imply that I somehow knew my son was in the basement is absurd and wrong. I love my son. I'm glad that he's home," Bothuell said.
He became overcome with emotion when a reporter asked him about earlier erroneous reports that Charlie may have been the victim of a homicide.
"I thought my son was dead," he said, beginning to cry.
His distress deepened further when he was asked if he'd seen Charlie yet.
"No, I haven't," he said.
"I want to see my son," he cried, before breaking into sobs and burying his face in the chest of the male reporter standing next to him.M*U*L*E
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