The stepmother of the 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for 11 days before police found him in the family’s basement has been accused of hiding the boy and denying him any food and water.
Meanwhile, injuries that were found on the boy indicate he may have been a victim of child abuse, which is sparking a closer investigation of the boy’s father, reports say.
According to the Associated Press, Charlie Bothuell V told investigators that his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, put him in the basement and told him “not to come out, no matter what he hears.”
Investigators suspect that someone had to barricade the child in the basement due to the heavy items that were used to create the wall that kept him hidden for nearly two weeks.
Charlie also told investigators that he was not given any food or water during the days he was “missing.”
Instead, he said he had to sneak upstairs when nobody was home and find food.
While investigators have not yet charged Dillard-Bothuell with any charges related to the case, she was recently arrested for violating probation.
Dillard-Bothuell was taken into custody Thursday after police discovered a firearm in her home during their search for the young boy.
As for Charlie’s father, Charlie Bothuell IV, it has been reported that he may have beaten his son with a PVC pipe.
According to documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the 12-year-old had a scar that was “a result of his father driving a PVC pipe into his chest.”
There were also older scars on the child’s buttocks that also appeared to come from a PVC pipe, reports say.
Bothuell insists that he never disciplined his son with the pipe.
The father’s lawyer, Mark Magidson, does anticipate that child abuse charges will be filed against his client.
Suspicions arose about the father after a televised interview on the HLN show Nancy Grace took a bizarre turn.
During the live show, host Grace broke the news to the boy’s father that police discovered his son in the family’s basement.
The father’s reaction was described by some media outlets as being “defensive” and “insincere.”