Stepmom Of Missing 12-Year-Old Refuses Polygraph, Dad ‘Feels Like A Suspect’
[UPDATE: The boy was found Wednesday afternoon. Get the latest here].
DETROIT (WWJ) - While Detroit police say they’re not ruling out the possibility that a missing 12-year-old Detroit boy was murdered, his parents are upset with the way investigators are handling the case.
It’s been nearly two weeks since anyone has seen Charlie Bothuell V, who reportedly walked away from his home in the 1300 block of Nicolet Place, near Gratiot and I-375, around 9 p.m. Saturday, June 14.
Updating reporters on the case Wednesday afternoon, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said, at this point, no option is being ignored.
“I can tell you we’re not ruling out the possibility of homicide, but we’re still treating this case as a ‘serious missing,’ Craig said.
As police continue to search for any sign of the child’s whereabouts, Charlie Bothuell IV and his wife Monique, the boy’s parents, say they’re being treated like suspects.
Monique Bothuell, the boy’s stepmother, told reporters she refused to take a polygraph test after consulting with her attorney.
“I didn’t trust to be treated fairly,” Monique Bothuell told WXYZ. “I understand we are the first, you’re going to zero in on us, understandable. But we’ve been more than open, we’ve been more than helpful.”
Charlie Bothuell IV submitted to a polygraph test, but only after demanding it be conducted by the FBI due to a “negative experience” with the Detroit Police Department. Reports say the test’s results were inconclusive.
“When they mentioned a lie detector test, the FBI agent who was here with the task force said DPD was going to be doing it and I said ‘Not a chance,'” Charlie Bothuell IV told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “And he said ‘Okay, well I have an FBI agent who will do it at 10 in the morning’ and I said ‘Okay, I’m there,’ because I want my son found.”
The case has gained national attention — Charlie Bothuell IV discussed his son’s disappearance on CNN with Nancy Grace, saying the boy ran away a few years ago, but he was eventually found near his mother’s home.
“He’s walked off without permission and headed off down that way [toward his mother's house] once before, but the difference is it wasn’t at night and he was found and back home within three hours,” he said.
Monique Bothuell said Charlie’s disappearance has been especially hard on her, since the boy was in her care when he vanished. She told reporters her stepson was upset shortly before he went missing because he did not finish his required workout for the day and she was going to tell his father.
A police task force with six cadaver dogs searched the nearby Martin Luther King Apartments on Tuesday after receiving a tip, but found no signs of the boy.
Charlie is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 120 lbs., with brown hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, black and gray pajama pants, and a black and gray “Phat Farm” jacket.
Charlie Bothuell IV said his son is in good mental health and exceptional physical shape. He urged the public to keep an eye out for his son, saying the 12-year-old is friendly and approachable.
“You know what, if you say ‘Charlie,’ he is going to look, he can’t help it, or ‘CJ’ or ‘Little Charlie.’ Those are the three names that he’s mainly called. He’s going to turn his head, you know what I’m saying? He might try not to, but he’s going to look,” he said.
The Bothuell family is offering a $1,000 reward for Charlie’s safe return.
Anyone who thinks they might have seen Charlie or who knows of his whereabouts is urged to immediately contact Detroit police at 313-596-1140.