Detroit police chief: Missing 12-year-old boy Charlie Bothuell found alive, well in dad's basement
Chief Craig: It's unlikely he barricaded himself in basement
DETROIT – A missing 12-year-old Detroit boy was found alive and well in his father's basement Wednesday afternoon, said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Charlie Bothuell had been missing since June 14. His father, Charlie Bothuell IV, said he last saw him at his home in the 1300 block of Nicolet Place. He said his son was working out, stopped to go to the bathroom and never came back.
Craig said the 12-year-old was found by investigators barricaded behind boxes. Craig added that, in his opinion, it would have been unlikely for Charlie to have built the barricade with a five-gallon drum himself.
"He indicated he was hungry ... I saw evidence that there was food around where he was," said Craig.
The chief said the boy was excited to see police. He said he would not rule out the possibility that his parents knew Bothuell was hidden in the basement.
Craig also said the townhouse was searched multiple times with a cadaver dog without finding evidence the boy was hiding. He also said investigators are not certain Botheull was in the basement the entire time he was missing.
"I didn't know," Botheull's father, Charles Botheull IV, said about his son's location after he was found Wednesday afternoon.
He called assertions that his wife, the boy's stepmother, hid the child in the basement "absurd."
"My wife wouldn't do that," he said.
Police removed Charlie Botheull from the house and he hasn't yet had contact with his parents. He will stay with police overnight and undergo a medical evaluation. He won't see his parents until the morning, at least.
"He needs a whole lot of help at this point," said the elder Botheull about his son's future.
On Tuesday, more than a week after his son first was reported missing, Charlie's father appeared on "Nancy Grace" begging for help to find him.
He told a different story about the last day he saw Charlie. The dad admitted that Charlie ran away from home two years ago, but police found him after three hours.
During a news conference earlier on Wednesday afternoon, Craig said Charlie's close family members were being questioned, but no one was considered a person of interest.
"As in any missing investigation, we certainly look at close family members," said Craig, who called it a "normal investigation."
Craig said the father underwent a polygraph test administered by the FBI, which was inconclusive.
Police launched a new search for the missing boy Tuesday night. Several K-9s sniffed around the Martin Luther King apartments on Lafayette searching for the 12-year-old.
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