Charlie Bothuell V is the 12-year-old boy who was mysteriously missing yet found in his family’s basement. After searching for the boy for 11 days, he was discovered behind a makeshift barricade constructed by boxes in his family’s townhome. According to a Washington Post report on Friday, state of Michigan papers were filled following an investigation of the odd case. Those state papers allege that the boy was physically and mentally abused. The court hearing which began on Thursday is designed to end the parental rights of the boy’s father, Charlie Bothuell IV, and his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell.
As the story was previously told, the boy was found by authorities on June 25. At the time the boy was found, the father was appearing on live television with Nancy Grace. Grace informed the father, who acted as surprised as he possibly could, that his son had been found alive in “daddy’s basement.” Bothuell was nearly at a loss for words when Grace told him the boy was in his home’s basement. Many have questioned the father’s sincerity in acting shocked in front of the camera.
The boy has now said that his stepmother had told him to go down in the basement because she didn’t believe he had completed one of his two daily workouts. The two daily workouts are alleged to have been quite excruciating. One daily workout included 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 arm curls with a 25-pound weight and literally thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine. Supposedly, the boy was given one hour to complete one workout session. If he didn’t complete it within an hour, he was ordered to start over from the beginning.
The boy said that his stepmother also threatened him. She would tell him to shut up and stay quiet. Charlie says that she said, “Don’t say anything no matter what you hear… I know where the sharp knives are <and> I can make you disappear.”
The boy claims that he heard police looking for him. When things got quiet, he would sneak upstairs and have some snacks including protein shakes and dry cereal. An examination of the child shows a scar on the boy’s chest. He told authorities that his father drove a PVC pipe into his body. According to the boy, he was also hit on his head, arms, thighs and feet which made him too sore to complete his daily workouts. Authorities found the PVC pipe which Charlie said was used to discipline him.
The boy has been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling, according to Reuters. He is in his mother’s care. His father’s visitation rights have been suspended. The stepmother asserts that she did not harm the boy. The father still claims he didn’t know the boy was in the basement when the boy was reported missing.