Missing Boy Charlie Bothuell May Have Been An Abused Runaway But Something Doesn’t Add Up
A couple of days ago Mommyish writer Maria Guido reported on case of 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell, who until Wednesday was believed to be missing from his Detroit area home. On Wednesday police inexplicably found Charlie, alive, barricaded behind some boxes in the family’s basement. The strange part about this is that the basement had been searched by numerous people beforehand, including the child’s family, the local police and reportedly even the FBI. Now certain news sources are insinuating that Charlie may have been an abused runaway, and the story just gets weirder from there.
Earlier this week, the always professional Nancy Grace broke the news that the child had been found to the father, Charlie Bothuell IV, live on the air. In typical Nancy Grace fashion, instead of cutting the segment short, she continued to grill Bathuell Sr., insinuating that he had something to do with the incident. Well, apparently, as annoying as she can be sometimes, Nancy may have been right, as much as it pains me to say anything positive about that vile opportunist. .
According to The Detroit Free Press, Little Charlie Bothuell told police that his step mom was the one who allegedly placed him in the basement and told him “not to come out, no matter what he hears.” Charlie was missing for a gob-smacking 11 days, and according to reports there were signs of physical abuse, including scars on his behind and chest. Charlie claims that neither parent brought him food, so he would sneak upstairs to smuggle something down whenever the rest of the family was out of the home.
Everything about this story sounds creepy and shady to me. Though both the boy’s father and his stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell insist that they had no idea their son was hiding right under their noses, the evidence seems pretty inconclusive to me. In addition to Charlie’s injuries, authorities also discovered a bloody PVC pipe believed to have been used as a weapon on Charlie, and the child’s grandmother says he was skeletal when she saw him last. From The Detroit Free Press:
“According to the petition filed in juvenile court, Charlie’s grandmother told an FBI investigator that the last time she saw Charlie, “he was very skinny, and almost looked like a cancer patient. He had marks all over his arms and chest.”
To be fair, Bothuell Sr. claims that the two got into an argument over unfinished chores, and that Charlie simply ran away. The oh-so reliable Daily Mail goes as far as to suggest, through unnamed “neighbors,” that Charlie was seen playing basketball while the investigation was going on, and was able to come and go as he pleases through a tunnel that led to the basement area. This would explain how police were able to search the area and find nothing. But even if that were the case, something doesn’t seem right here.
First, there is the alleged evidence of abuse and the grandmother’s statements about his health. Secondly, even if it’s true that Charlie ran away and was using the barricaded area to sleep, why did he do that? What was going on in the home? How did he manage it for almost two whole weeks? And if these unnamed “neighbors” The Daily Mail spoke to saw the boy, why wasn’t this reported? The Daily Mail also mentions more unnamed sources that claim the father was a strict dad with irrational rules (like forcing the child to do 4000 strides on a treadmill daily) and that this may have spurred Charlie to run away, but none of this is substantiated.
Obviously we must assume innocence until proven guilty, but something ain’t right here and I think someone knows a lot more than they’re letting on.