DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The FBI will question a 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for more than a week before police found him in his own basement, police said Monday.
The FBI “has scheduled a forensic interview” on Tuesday with Charlie Bothuell V, Detroit police said in a statement.
“Based on the outcome of this interview, the Detroit Police Department may be submitting a package to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office as early as Wednesday afternoon,” the statement said.
Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Moreno told The Associated Press in an email that the FBI plans to have a “kid’s talk” with the boy, not administer a polygraph. She said the case remained a state rather than a federal matter.
Charlie’s father reported him missing June 14, telling police that the boy had taken a bathroom break while exercising and never returned.
Officers found the boy last Wednesday behind boxes hidden behind boxes and a large, plastic drum in the bowels of the multiple-unit condo building where he lived with father Charlie Bothuell IV and stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell.
Dillard-Bothuell was arrested Thursday on accusations of violating probation in an unrelated case involving firearms. She was released with an electronic tether.
According to a document obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the boy told investigators that his stepmother sent him to the basement and told him “not to come out, no matter what he hears.”
The petition filed in Wayne County juvenile court by Children’s Protective Services as part of a custody hearing said that Dillard-Bothuell placed the boy in the basement. It said the boy scavenged for food when his family was away.
“Charlie is currently staying with relatives,” the police statement said. “His stepmother and father have been granted supervised visitation by the state.”
WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton says although they were involved in the search, it would be unusual for the FBI to get involved in a child abuse case alone.
“We’re not sure what’s going on, and we don’t know yet if there are other people involved,” Langton said. “Maybe there were phone calls made; maybe other people out of state knew about this; maybe there are other issues involving the father or stepmom that we don’t know about that the FBI certainly has an interest in.”
Detroit police say that based on Tuesday’s interview, they could submit a warrant request for Charlie Bothuell IV by Wednesday afternoon.
“I would say that abuse and neglect charges absolutely are forthcoming against dad and stepmom; I’d be surprised if they weren’t,” said Langton. “But whether there or more charges … (those would be) based on information that we don’t know about.”
The boy, meantime, is staying with a relative and has had supervised visits with his stepmother and dad.
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