A missing 12-year-old Detroit boy who was the subject of a massive citywide search was found Wednesday in the basement of his family’s home.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig told the Associated Press that Charlie Bothuell V, who had been missing for some 11 days, was found behind boxes and a large plastic drum in the basement of the home he shares with his father and stepmother. Authorities noted that bedding was also nearby.
“He was nervous but excited,” Craig told AP. “He indicated he was hungry. He appeared fine.”
AP notes that officers found the missing boy while serving a search warrant on the home as a routine part of their investigation. Officers with cadaver dogs had searched the home previously as recently as a few days before the boy’s discovery, leading some to speculate that the boy may not have been at the home the entire time.
The boy’s father, Charlie Bothuell IV, told AP that he was as surprised as anyone that his son was found in the basement. “I’m shocked. I looked. The Detroit police looked. The FBI looked,” he said. “To imply that I knew my son was in the basement is absurd. I thought my son was dead,” Bothuell IV told the swarm of news crews gathered around his house.
AP notes that Bothuell IV “broke down in tears and hugged a reporter.”
Earlier Wednesday, before the boy had been found, Craig told reporters that Bothuell IV had agreed to and had taken a polygraph test regarding his son’s disappearance, but “the boy’s stepmother declined to do so,” AP reports.
Read more at the Associated Press.