12-Year-Old Boy Found in Family Basement Details Cruel Abuse

Remember the strange case of the kid who was found in his father's basement? Charles Bothuell IV was in the middle of an interview on The Nancy Grace Show when he learned that his 12-year-old son, Charlie Bothuell V, who had been missing for 11 days, was actually hiding in his basement. It was a happy ending and yet a very bizarre one. How did he survive down there? How did no one find him? And, most of all, why? Now some of those questions might be answered.


Police and young Charlie's family were startled when the boy was found behind a makeshift barricade in the family's basement. Originally, police had even thought he'd been murdered. And the basement had been thoroughly checked.

But now a petition filed in juvenile court details abuse that the boy claims he suffered at the hands of his father and his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell. According to documents obtained by Detroit Free Press, Charlie claims he was subjected to two grueling workouts every day: 100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 curls on each arm with a 25-pound weight, and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine.

He claims if he didn't finish the workout in under an hour, he'd have to do it again.

Charlie also claims he was hit with a PVC pipe on his backside, sometimes to the point where he couldn't sit or walk. A doctor reportedly testified that there were scars on Charlie's chest and buttocks, which he said were from being hit with the PVC pipe.

He claims that his stepmother put him in the basement after he lied to her about one of his workouts, and then she went upstairs and told his father the boy couldn't be found. She would also allegedly tell Charlie to be quiet, no matter what he heard. (His stepmother's lawyer denies she put him there.)

Charlie said that his stepmother never brought him food, but when she and his father would leave the house, he would go upstairs and sneak food.

There are still a huge number of questions here. But if Charlie was being forced to do these workouts (his father and stepmother admit there was one workout but deny he had to do two or do them over), then that seems to tip into abuse. I don't know too many adults who could do two workouts like that, let alone a child.

If the majority of what Charlie is saying is true, it's no wonder he didn't want to come out of the basement.

Charlie is in the care of his biological mother and authorities are trying to terminate Charlie Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell's parental rights to Charlie and two other children, ages 4 years and 10 months.

Neither Charles Bothuell IV or Dillard-Bothuel has been charged in the case.

What do you think happened?


Image via Detroit Police

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