Charlie Bothuell, the 12-year-old boy who was reported missing and found alive in his father’s basement, is now believed to be a victim of abuse. Police removed a PVC pipe with blood on it and this is believed to be evidence in the abuse investigation, according to “Fox and Friends” live on Friday morning June 27. Charlie has told police that his stepmother helped him hideout from his father.
It is believed that Charlie’s stepmother helped him hide from his father who allegedly took discipline to an abusive level. Two other children have been removed from his father’s home and put in the custody of Child Protective Services. Charles Bothuell’s wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, was taken into custody, but this was on an unrelated issue. She was arrested on a warrant that was issued for probation violation, according to USA Today on June 27.
Detroit Police spokesperson Michael Woody said that during the earlier searches of the Bothuell home looking for Charlie, he was in another location and not at the home. The police are investigating to find out where that other location may be. Charlie was in an area police describe as a “mechanical room” and this area was searched by police. If he had been there the entire time, they would have found him, according to KSLA.com today.
Woody said the area where Charlie was found was “somewhat staged.” You could tell he was there for a “short while.” “It wasn’t any grand, elaborate setup.” Charlie was found in the same clothes that he was reported wearing when he went missing on June 14.
Dillard-Bothuell reportedly told police that Charlie was abused by his father. She also told police the details of the hours before Charlie went missing. The day Charlie disappeared he was doing 4,000 strides on the elliptical machine as punishment. Halfway through he told his stepmother that he needed to use the bathroom and that was when he went missing. The stepmother claims that he never came back from the bathroom, reports “Fox and Friends” this morning.
Police searched the Bothuell home several times thoroughly, including the basement where Charlie was found. Police got one more search warrant for the home on Wednesday and searched it again, this time they found Charlie barricaded in the basement behind some boxes and a 50 gallon drum.
Police found food and bedding in the area where Charlie was discovered in the basement. When the boy was found it seemed apparent that Charlie could not have done this on his own and that he had help, said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. Charlie told police that his stepmother helped him hide.
Charlie underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was released in the custody of his biological mother. Police are not allowing Charlie’s father or stepmother to have any communication with him at this time.
What first started off as a missing child investigation has now turned into a child abuse investigation. Charlie’s father denies having anything to do with his son hiding in the basement, he also denies his wife is involved in Charlie’s 11-day disappearance.
USA Today reports that “a person familiar with the investigation” reports that the PVC pipe taken out of the home was used to discipline Charlie. Blood was found on the pipe and on the child’s clothing that police took from the house. It is unsure whose blood this is and a DNA test is underway to find the answers.
Dillard-Bothuell is on probation for a “weapons charge.” She was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon back in 2013, according to Wayne County Circuit Court records. In January of 2014 Dillard-Bothuell pled guilty to obtaining a pistol without a license and her concealed weapons charge was dropped. She was put on two years’ probation, according to KSLA.com today.
A gun was found at the Bothuell home and Dillard-Bothuell’s probation states that she may “not use or possess a firearm.” Finding that gun while she was present violated her probation and that is why the warrant was issued.
Is Charlie’s stepmother the opposite of the “wicked stepmother” stereotype? Did she want to help her stepson because she was worried about the abuse he was enduring at the hands of his father? Geraldo Rivera on “Fox and Friends” thinks so. His theory is that this woman cared about what was happening to Charlie and she tried to help the kid by hiding him away from his father.