The stepmother of a 12-year-old Detroit boy — who was found hiding in his father’s basement 11 days after he went missing — was taken into custody on Thursday. Monique Dillard-Bothuell, 37, was arrested for a probation violation, USAToday reports. She was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in 2013.
Charlie Bothuell V was found hiding behind a makeshift barricade in the basement of his father’s townhouse on Wednesday. His father, Charlie Bothuell IV, said his son vanished after working out on June 14.
Police say Charlie could not have erected the barricade — which included a 55-gallon drum — without help.
“It was somewhat staged, but … you could tell he was there for a short while,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told USAToday. “It wasn’t any grand, elaborate setup.”
She said Charlie smiled at police and his condition was good. Cereal and soda were found in the hiding place.
Charlie’s home and the basement had been searched six times by police, the FBI, and cadaver dogs.
Charlie’s father submitted to a lie detector test, but the results were inconclusive. His wife, Monique, reportedly refused to take a lie detector test.
Charlie was hospitalized overnight and released into the custody of his birth mother on Thursday. Charlie’s birth mother lives 2 miles away from the home where Charlie lived with his father, stepmother and 2 siblings — a 4-year-old and a 10-month-old. Charlie’s siblings were removed from the home by child protective services.
During a search of the home, police recovered bloody clothes and a PVC pipe with blood on it. Police say the PVC pipe was used to discipline the children. They are not ruling out child abuse.
Charlie had been homeschooled and he was subjected to a strict regimen that included exercise.
Botheull IV is a registered nurse who also owns a personal injury claims agency. Nancy Grace informed him that his son had been found when he appeared on her show on Wednesday.
In a new twist in the case, an uncle of Charlie’s stepmother has a listed address 3 doors away from Charlie’s home in the same building. Detroit attorney Godfrey Dillard’s home — an end unit — is connected to an underground hallway that leads to the basement where Charlie was found.
Bothuell IV, who was eager to speak to the media before Charlie was found, has not returned the media’s calls.
“He tried to see his son shortly after he was found. They said no,” said Mark Magidson, Bothuell’s lawyer. “I told him, ‘You have an absolute right to see your son.'”
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