UPDATE: A father and stepmother whose son went missing for more than a week may lose custody of their three children.
A petition to strip Charlie Bothuel IV and his wife, Monique Dillard Bothuel, of their parental rights was presented in court on Thursday.
The move came after allegations of daily abuse alleged by 12-year-old Charlie Bothuel.
In interviews with authorities, Bothuel claims he was forced into the basement of his home, was ordered to exercise daily and was beaten with a PVC pipe by his father.
Last month, authorities searched for Charlie Bothuel for 11 days before he was discovered in the basement of his family’s home.
According to the boy, his stepmother told him to stay in the basement and not make a sound.
The child says he was denied food and water.
Officials say the couple is also in danger of losing custody of their two other children as well.
An attorney for Charlie’s stepmother told reporters after the court hearing that corporal punishment was not a crime.
“Corporal punishment is allowed under the law. And so, what’s determined to be child abuse versus corporal punishment, that’s a fact that ultimately will be determined by a jury,” said Mark Magidson.
Currently, no one has been charged in Bothuel’s disappearance.
A hearing is expected to take place to determine if Charlie will be given to his biological mother.
DETROIT – A boy who had been missing for 11 days has been found safe but the bizarre conclusion has left some people scratching their heads.
“It would be hard for me to sit here and tell you that someone didn’t know that Charlie was there but I can’t say definitively,” said Chief James Craig, with the Detroit Police Department.
In 11 days of searching for Charlie Bothuell V, police had searched through his father’s home three times and once with a cadaver dog.
However, they found nothing until they searched the home a fourth time on Wednesday.
“We found him barricaded in the basement behind boxes and a large five-gallon drum,” said Chief Craig.
The boy’s father wasn’t home when his son was found.
In fact, the child’s father was on live television doing an interview with Nancy Grace.
“I would hope that the father, who is now doing a show on Nancy Grace, that someone would interrupt his show and advise him that the location you just left, your home, your son was downstairs,” said Craig.
“Charlie, we’re getting reports that your son has been found in your basement,” said Nancy Grace, during the interview.
He responded to the news with stunned silence before lashing out when he left the show.
“For anybody to imply that I somehow knew that my son was in the basement, it’s absurd and it’s wrong,” said Charles Bothuell IV.
Police aren’t certain the 12-year-old was in the home during their previous searches, one of many questions remaining about his disappearance.