Missing Boy Found in Parents’ Basement Allegedly Abused

Charles Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell
Detroit Local 4 Screenshot

A 12-year-old Detroit boy who was found alive in his family’s basement after being missing for more than a week reportedly told investigators he had been abused, Click on Detroit reported Friday.

A medical examination of Charlie Bothuell also showed signs of physical abuse, the report says. The child’s stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, allegedly knew he was hiding in the basement throughout the intensive 11-day, citywide search and reportedly ordered him to remain there.


No charges have been filed in the ongoing investigation of Dillard-Bothuell and the child’s father, Charles Bothuell IV, the news site says. Child Protective Services removed two younger children from the Bothuell home Thursday, Click on Detroit also reported.

Forensic experts are going over the family computer and an iPad, the report says. It added that blood found in the house is being tested and that an FBI expert will interview the boy next week.

Charlie was homeschooled and had to adhere to a rigid schedule, including doing “4,000 strides on an elliptical machine without a break,” the report says. On the day of his disappearance, the report says, he went into hiding because he was fearful of incurring his parents’ wrath after hopping off the machine to go to the bathroom.

Detroit police discovered the child Wednesday at his family’s townhouse where he was barricaded in a closet of his family’s in the basement of the co-op complex. He had access to a bathroom.


Adding another layer of complexity to the story, police arrested Dillard-Bothuell, 37, on Thursday on a parole violation unrelated to the child’s disappearance, Click on Detroit reports. She appeared in court Friday, and defense attorneys plan to contest the charge. A hearing is scheduled for July 11.

Charlie's father was apparently stunned Wednesday during an appearance on HLN’s Nancy Grace, when the show’s host told him on national television that his son had been found.


He told the Associated Press that he was as he was surprised as anyone that his son was found in the basement. “I'm shocked,” he said. “I looked” for him.

Read more at Click on Detroit.

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