Friday, June 27
DETROIT (AP) — A 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for more than a week before he was discovered in his own basement told investigators his stepmother sent him there, according to a court record obtained Friday by a newspaper.
The petition, filed in Wayne County juvenile court by Children's Protective Services as part of a custody hearing, was obtained by the Detroit Free Press. A court employee told The Associated Press a petition was filed Friday, but it was not released to the public or the media.
According to the Free Press, the document says Charlie Bothuell V was placed in the basement behind boxes and totes by his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, and told "not to come out, no matter what he hears."
Although Dillard-Bothuell knew her stepson was in the basement, she did not bring him food, according to the petition, which also says: "Charlie reports sneaking upstairs to get food when everyone left the home."
Charlie was found Wednesday by Detroit police in the bowels of the multiple-unit condo building where he lived with Dillard-Bothuell and his father, Charlie Bothuell IV. He was evaluated at a hospital and returned to his mother, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said.
The AP left messages Friday with Dillard-Bothuell, Charlie Bothuell IV and Bothuell's lawyer, Mark Magidson.
Authorities removed the boy's two younger siblings — 4 years old and 10 months old — from the custody of Dillard-Bothuell and Charlie Bothuell IV.
The document obtained by the Free Press also says Bothuell disclosed on Monday that he disciplined his son with a PVC pipe.
The petition says that after Charlie was taken to a hospital for treatment, a doctor observed a half-circular scar on the boy's chest. Charlie says the scar was "a result of his father driving a PVC pipe into his chest," according to the petition, which also says the child had old scars on his buttocks from being hit with the pipe.
Bothuell has denied abusing his son. Magidson also denied that a pipe was used to beat Charlie.
A warrant request in connection with the case has not been turned over to the Wayne County prosecutor's office, spokeswoman Maria Miller said.
According to The Detroit News, Magidson said child abuse charges are likely to be filed against Bothuell.
Dillard-Bothuell was arrested Thursday on a probation violation related to a misdemeanor gun charge. In court Friday, Dillard-Bothuell was ordered to wear a tether. She's due back in court July 11. Magidson said her arrest was "highly disingenuous."
The boy's father, who made tearful television pleas for help while his son was missing, has said he had no idea the boy was in the basement. Bothuell reported his son missing June 14. The boy had been working out at home about 9 p.m., went to use the restroom and never returned, Bothuell told police.
Officers searched the home on at least three occasions before they stumbled across the boy apparently hiding behind boxes and a large plastic drum in the basement Wednesday afternoon. Police have said they do not believe the boy had been there the whole time.