12-Year-Old Boy, Missing for 11 Days, Found Alive in Dad's Basement
by Lisa Fogarty
I'm beyond excited to share with you a story about a missing child that has a happy ending -- but the bizarre facts may leave you scratching your head and wondering what other details are about to surface.
First the great news: after 11 days missing, Charlie Bothuell V, 12, was found alive and well. From what we know so far, there was not a scratch on his body.
Now the crazy part: the Detroit child was discovered in his father's basement, hiding behind a makeshift barricade that cops say he couldn't have built himself. And police had already searched the house four times -- once with a cadaver dog -- before spotting the boy, whom they say looked happy, nervous, and hungry.
Charlie vanished on June 14 after reportedly walking out of the house where he lived with his father and stepmother. His father says he refused to finish some of his chores, and at that point his wife let him go. At the time, Charles Bothuell IV was working late so that he could have Father's Day off to spend with his family, he said. When his son didn't return that night, Charles reported him missing, created and distributed flyers with his photo, and didn't sleep for days, he said.
The dad submitted to an FBI-administered polygraph test, though his wife refused to take one, police said. He appeared on the Nancy Grace show Tuesday evening and described the agony he felt, pleading with viewers to keep their eyes open for his little boy.
Police had all but given up hope. Unbelievably -- just 90 minutes before Charlie was found -- authorities held a press conference and said they had new evidence that led to their belief that the preteen had been murdered. Can you imagine being that parent who now has to come to terms with the idea that his baby is gone forever?
It's unclear why police decided to obtain another search warrant for the father's home, but four times proved a charm. Charlie was found crouched behind large containers and a five-gallon drum, police said. Cops don't believe it is possible that he was there the entire time he was reported missing, and they aren't ruling out the possibility that someone created that barricade for him.
The boy was taken for a medical evaluation and will be questioned by police.
Charles claims he checked his own basement several times and that the only thing he has been doing since his child disappeared is desperately searching for him. He denies any wrongdoing and says the child has not been abused.
Charles says his son has run away before. He explained that Charlie went to live with him because he "had some challenges" and that he's going to now need "a whole lot of help."
I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say: I really hope dad is telling the truth. I hope this child tried to run away, was miraculously found alive, and will now get any help he needs to ensure this doesn't happen again. Time will tell what actually went on in this happy, but incredibly odd case.
Here's a video that captures the moment when this boy's father found out, on Nancy Grace, that his son had been found in his basement:
What do you think happened here?