DETROIT (WWJ) – A referee has ordered that a jury trial be held to determine whether the father and stepmother of a 12-year-old Detroit boy found barricaded in a basement should lose their parental rights.
No criminal charges have been brought against Charlie Bothuell IV or Monique Dillard-Bothuell, whose son, Charlie Botthuel V, was missing for 11 days — with national coverage of his “disappearance” — when he was found hidden the bowels of his father’s condo.
At the courthouse Thursday, defense attorney Mark Magidson, who represents Dillard-Bothuell, was asked whether young Charlie was being truthful when he told police he was in the basement the entire time — even after at least five thorough searches of the home.
“If that child was in the basement, I doubt the FBI, the Michigan State Police, the Detroit police, the crime task force and Child Protective Services all searched that house, and he somehow eluded them? I doubt that,” Magidson said. “We believe that he had assistance, at some point during that 11-day interlude — that he couldn’t have been down there by himself for that entire…time, and go undetected.”
“So, I believe that he had help. The question is, who help him?”
A petition filed in Wayne County’s family court alleges Dillard-Bothuell ordered Charlie to complete extreme daily workouts and hide in the basement as a punishment. Another petition alleges Charlie Bothuell IV physically disciplined his son with a PVC pipe, leaving scars.
Magidson said he and his client are still waiting to see if criminal charged will be filed. He’s frustrated with prosecutors.
“We don’t have any of the forensic reports; we don’t have any medical reports,” Magidson said. “They talk about blood on a pipe; they talk about all of these other things. We have been provided nothing, and I’ve sent subpoenas out to the various agencies, to the police; I’ve gotten no response other than stonewalling.”
A court officials said, meantime, Charlie Botthuel V is in the care of his biological mother and is doing fine.
Authorities removed the boy’s two younger siblings – 4-years-old and 10-months-old – from the couple’s custody of Dillard-Bothuell and Charlie Bothuell IV.
The Bothuell’s next court appearance is set for July 28.