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Detroit boy missing 11 days found in basement; police want to know why

DETROIT — A 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for 11 days before turning up in his own basement is out of the hospital but his father and stepmother have not been permitted to see him, police said Thursday.

Charlie Bothuell V was evaluated by doctors Wednesday night after he was found in a shared utility and storage area of the multiple-unit condo near downtown Detroit, police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said.

Investigators were not allowing him to have contact with Charlie Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell as they now focus on the circumstances surrounding the boy's disappearance and his surprising recovery.

Detroit police said Thursday that the boy had been in another location during earlier searches of the house.

Woody said police would have discovered the boy otherwise. He said the area in which the boy was found is not a standard basement but more of a small mechanical room. Police found the boy Wednesday behind a large container with some food, including cereal and soda bottles.

"It was somewhat staged but … you could tell he was there for a short while," Woody said, declining to specify where police think the boy had been since he disappeared from his east side Detroit home June 14. "It wasn't any grand, elaborate setup."

He said Charlie was wearing the same clothes he'd had on when he disappeared.

Police said Charlie's condition is good and he has been talking to them. They have declined to say where the boy is being housed.

"He was in a hospital this morning. He is being closely monitored by us," Woody said.

The saga of a family searching for a missing child took an abrupt and bizarre turn Wednesday. Detroit police Chief James Craig held a news conference to announce that police were not ruling out the possibility of homicide in the case followed hours later by news that the boy had been found alive.

As Craig was making the announcement, Charlie's father, Charlie Bothuell IV, learned the news from cable TV show host Nancy Grace on live television. He left the interview and rushed to his home, where video captured him collapsing in the arms of WDIV reporter Guy Gordon after learning the good news.

Woody said the investigation is continuing, and police are potentially looking at child abuse issues. Police are working with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and will be in touch with the Department of Human Services and other agencies.

Evidence, including a PVC pipe found at another undisclosed location, is part of the investigation, Woody said.

Detroit boy missing 11 days found in basement; police want to know why 06/26/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:32pm]
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