DETROIT (WWJ) – There are still more questions than answers in the case of a 12-year-old boy, missing 11 days, who was found alive in the basement of his father’s home.
Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said that Charlie Bothuell V was with his mother at a local hospital, Thursday morning, after he underwent a medical evaluation and was found to be OK.
Meantime, Woody said, police are still trying to work out whether or not Charlie had been hiding all along or where else he’d been since his disappearance on June 14.
Woody said that, although Charlie is “in good condition,” police are investigating a PVC pipe and blood found in the home. He said the blood would be tested to determine whose it is.
“I can tell you it was that evidence that led us to our press conference yesterday that potentially could have moved this investigation toward a homicide investigation,” Woody said. “That evidence is very much still in play.”
At Wednesday press conference, prior to Charlie’s discovery, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said investigators were not ruling out the possibility that he boy had been murdered. Police cadaver dogs searched the house last week.
No charges have been filed in the case, Woody said, but all three parents — Charlie’s mother, father and stepmother — are being investigated. “Everybody’s still very much in play,” he said.
The father, Charlie Bothuell IV, told reporters he was “shocked” when police stumbled upon his son while serving a search warrant at his townhome Wednesday afternoon.
Chief Craig said the boy did not announce himself to officers, and “appeared to be hiding” behind some boxes and a large plastic drum. Woody said he couldn’t comment on reports that the boy was found set up with some “fresh food” — including chicken.
Charlie Bothuell IV said his home had been thoroughly searched multiple times by himself, Detroit police and the FBI.
“So to say that, um, you know…for anybody to imply that I somehow knew my son was in the basement, it’s absurd,” he said.
“I thought my son was dead,” he said as he broke down in tears and hugged a reporter.
As police had searched for any sign of the child’s whereabouts, Charlie Bothuell IV and his wife Monique, said they felt like they were being treated like suspects despite the fact they were cooperating with investigators.
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.
The case has gained national attention — Charlie Bothuell IV, clad in suit and tie, discussed his son’s disappearance on CNN with Nancy Grace.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.