DETROIT - Investigators believe a 12-year-old boy who was missing for more than a week suffered physical and verbal abuse.
After Charlie Bothuell was found Wednesday in his father's basement, doctors at Children's Hospital found bruising and marks on his body consistent with abuse, according to court documents from a Friday custody hearing. According to the documents, Charlie Bothuell told police he was abused.
Moreover, a court petition, sent to juvenile court by Child Protective Service investigators, says Charlie's stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell put the boy in the basement and allegedly told him to stay there while the search for him unfolded.
Dillard-Bothuell told investigators that she was going to tell on young Charlie after he didn't complete a very specific rigorous elliptical workout. After he heard that his stepmother was going to tell his father, Charlie disappeared, according to Dillard-Bothuell. She said he was running from possible strict disciplinary action from his father.
Child Protective Services removed two younger children from the Bothuell home on Thursday.
"I read this petition. It says that Monique took (Charlie) into the basement and hid him and told him not to come out," said Mark Magison, the attorney for Charlie Bothuell's father. "Why would she do that? I don't understand that. It makes no sense. This is the same woman who then got the police involved and brought all of this on. None of this make sense."
Dillard-Bothuell, 37, was arrested Thursday on a parole violation unrelated to the boy's disappearance. She had been previously convicted for purchasing a pistol without a permit.
Defense attorneys say they plan to contest the probation violation charge. A hearing will be held on July 11.
Prosecutors requested that Dillard-Bothuell be held without bond, noting that she did not turn herself in on the charge. Defense lawyers called that assertion "highly disingenuous," saying she would have turned herself in if it had been requested.
Judge Gregory Bill ruled against holding her until the July 11 hearing. Dillard-Bothuell is expected to be released on a $5,000 personal bond and will have to wear a tether. Local 4 has learned she likely won't be released until Monday.
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