Missing Boy Found After 11 Days—in Own Basement

Not clear whether Charlie Bothuell V had been there the whole time
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2014 7:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Charlie Bothuell V had been missing since June 14—but yesterday, police found the Detroit 12-year-old, alive, in his own basement. The boy, who was hidden by a barricade, didn't call out as police searched the space but was happy to see them when found, the police chief says, according to the Detroit Free Press. He adds that authorities don't think the boy himself could have put together the barricade, which involved boxes and a large drum that various media reports have ranging in size from 5 gallons to 55 gallons. There was evidence of food nearby, but "he indicated he was hungry," the chief says, according to WDIV. It's not clear if he'd been in the basement the entire time (police had searched the house before), and police won't rule out the possibility that Charlie's father and stepmother knew where he was.

But Charlie Bothuell IV insists "there was no abuse of my son" and calls any implication that he was aware of his son's whereabouts "absurd and ... wrong." The elder Bothuell has told two stories: that he reported his son missing after getting a call from his wife around 9:45pm on June 14 saying Charlie left their home 45 minutes earlier, or that he last saw his son when the boy was at home working out, stopped to use the restroom, and did not return. The senior Bothuell took a polygraph test that came back inconclusive, but Charlie's stepmother did not. If evidence of child abuse surfaces, then "our investigation will take a turn in that direction," the police chief says. "It would be hard for me to sit here and tell you that someone didn't know. But I can't say definitively." Gawker notes that Charlie's father learned his son had been found last night while he was in the middle of an interview with Nancy Grace. (Read more missing boy stories.)

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