Detroit Police Considering Child Abuse After Finding Missing Boy In Father's Basement
Detroit police are still trying to determine what happened to the 12-year-old boy who was reported missing and was discovered in the basement of his father’s home after two weeks.
Charles Bothuell Learns Missing Son Was Found On Nancy Grace
On Wednesday, Nancy Grace viewers were shocked when an interview with Charles Bothuell about his son, Charlie Bothuell, who he said had been missing for eleven days, was interrupted with the news that Charlie had been found barricaded in his father’s basement.
“I checked my basement. The FBI checked my basement, the Detroit Police checked my basement, my wife checked my basement. I’ve been down there several times, we’ve all been checking,” Bothuell told Nancy Grace after learning his son had been found.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters that Charlie was found hidden behind a barricade made of boxes and other debris.
“We found him barricaded in the basement, behind boxes and a large… drum. There’s no way he could have erected this makeshift area of concealment… It would be hard for me to sit here and tell you that someone didn’t know that Charlie was there,” Craig said.
Craig revealed that the police had searched the house, including the basement, four times, once with cadaver dogs, and not once had Charlie been discovered.
“We’re not certain Charlie was here during those visits,” Craig said.
Family reportedly theorized that Charlie had been leaving the house through a hallway that connects the basement to those of neighbors in the complex of townhouses.
Police Investigating Possible Child Abuse
According to Detroit Police spokesman Sgt Michael Woody, Charlie smiled at the police officers that discovered him and didn’t appear to be held captive. Furthermore, police believe that he had only recently been placed there and found cereal and soda, though no makeshift bathroom and police suspect that he had access to a bathroom these past two weeks.
“I didn’t know he was in the basement. I couldn’t find him. I’m shocked, because I looked, the Detroit Police looked, the FBI looked. For anyone to imply that I knew he was in the basement is absurd. I want to see my son. I want to talk to my son,” Bothuell told reporters through tears on Wednesday.
The police took Charlie into custody and have forbidden any and all contact with Bothuell as the investigation continues. He has now been placed in the custody of his biological mother.
Bothuell is denying any allegations that he had purposefully kept his son from the police, while Bothuell’s wife, Charlie’s stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell has been taken into custody after an unrelated probation violation. Their two other children, 4 and 10 months, have been removed from their father’s home and are currently with Child Protective Services.
The police also revealed that Bothuell had taken a lie detector test during the search, and results were inconclusive. So far, no charges have been filed against Bothuell and the police are not ruling out possible child abuse.
The police interviewed Charlie for the first time on Thursday after he received precautionary medical attention. He has also met with a child psychologist.
“We’re getting all the information we can for prosecutors so they can decide whether they’ll be able to file charges, if any,” Sgt. Woody announced.
The police reportedly recovered evidence from the Bothuell home, including a PVC pipe that could have been used to discipline Charlie. Police also reported finding bloody children’s clothing in the home, though it is unclear whose blood is on them.