BAY CITY (WWJ/AP) – An Isabella County man has been charged in the assault of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son, who was found dead Thursday on an American Indian Reservation.
Carnel Chamberlain had been missing for a week when his body was found buried under a wooden deck at the home on the reservation of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, 70 miles north of Detroit.
Carnel disappeared on June 21 while in the care of his mother’s boyfriend, Anthony Bennett.
Bennett, 20, was charged Friday with assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a child under 16. He has not been charged in the child’s death.
According to the criminal complaint released by the United States Attorney’s Office, 21-year-old Jaimee Chamberlain has been interviewed several times since the boy went missing. She reportedly told authorities that, on more than one occasion, she “understood Anthony Bennett to have assaulted Carnel.”
Chamberlain told an FBI agent that, in late Mayor early June, Carnel suffered from a bruised and swollen face and also had a cut on the inside of his lip. A few days after this incident, Chamberlain said she found a six to eight inch long bruise along Carnel’s ribcage. That day, Chamberlain said Bennett admitted to her that he had backhanded Carnel.
Chamberlain said that, a few days after that, she saw Bennett pick Carnel up by his neck and drop him.
– View a copy of the complaint (.pdf format) –
Earlier this week, Chamberlain said that her son was missing when she returned home from work on June 21. She told WWJ Newsradio 950 that she became suspicious when Bennett didnt join her as she frantically searched for the child. She said that it seemed Bennett might be “hiding something.” (More on this here).
Family spokesman Kevin Chamberlain says they are disappointed there is no murder charge.
“It’s not enough. It’s hard not to look at him as a prime suspect given his … uncooperative nature through the whole thing,” he told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Kathryn Larson.
Bennett spent Friday afternoon in Bay City Federal Court where his case was bound over until he receives court-appointed council.
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