Missing Boy Found in Parents' Basement Details Horrific Alleged Abuse in Court

Last summer, 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell V was thankfully found alive and well after being missing for 11 days. But as the details of his disappearance began to emerge, we were horrified to learn what allegedly happened to the little boy. He was found in his parents' basement, and on Tuesday, April 28, he testified that his Detroit home was a "terrible place."

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The case is a bizarre one, as Charlie's dad, Charles Bothuell IV, claimed to be overwrought by the disappearance of his son in June 2014. In fact, he was in the middle of an interview on The Nancy Grace Show when he finally learned that Charlie had been found alive

The boy had been found during a fourth inspection of the family home, crouching in the basement behind a barricade that police were doubtful he could have built himself. After the interview with Nancy Grace, the elder Bothuell claimed, "I'm shocked. I looked. The Detroit police looked. The FBI looked. To imply that I knew my son was in the basement is absurd."

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The now 13-year-old detailed his alleged abuse at the hands of his father and stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell in court hearing this week, and what he had to say was wrenching. The hearing will determine whether or not the couple goes to trial on charges of torture and child abuse.

According to CBS News, Charlie told prosecutors that he was disciplined with a pipe if he didn't complete his rigorous workout routine. He said that it consisted of "100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and 100 jumping jacks, as well as curling a 25-pound weight on each arm and doing 5,000 revolutions on an elliptical trainer."

That is quite a bit for a kid his age to complete, but he alleged that if he didn't, he was beaten. "I would get whooped on the butt, and sometimes on the sides ... it hurt," he testified. "I told [my dad], 'Please stop.'"

He also claimed that sometimes his stepmom joined in on the beatings. "She would punch me, and I got choked once," Charlie said. Lawyers for the parents claim that they're innocent and that Charlie is lying.

The Detroit News reported that the tween was so depressed living with his father that he tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists. "I just wanted to go home to my mom," he claimed. "It was just a terrible place to be."

Even though Charlie saw his moms on weekends, he said he "didn't feel comfortable" telling her about the abuse. He said, "I just didn't think anything would change."

This whole situation is just awful, and I can't imagine which is worse -- parents abusing their child like this, or a kid making it up for whatever reason. I just hope that they're able to get to the bottom of this, and that the parents are brought to justice, or if Charlie is making it up, he gets the psychiatric help he needs.

Kids don't just make this stuff up without something being seriously wrong. No matter what the truth of what happened in this family, one thing is for sure -- it's a tragedy.

What do you think happened?

 

Image via Detroit Police Department

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