Father, stepmother could face charges after missing boy found al - KMSP-TV

Father, stepmother could face charges after missing boy found alive in basement

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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.

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