National News

Jun 27, 2014 1:51 PM

Boy Found in Basement Returned to Mother

DETROIT (AP) - A 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for a dozen days before he was discovered in his father's basement is back with his mother, and his stepmother was ordered Friday to wear an electronic tether after her arrest on an unrelated probation violation.

Charlie Bothuell V was found Wednesday in the bowels of the multiple-unit condo building where his father and stepmother live near downtown Detroit. He was evaluated at a hospital and returned to his mother on Thursday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said.

Investigators weren't allowing him to have contact with his father Charlie Bothuell IV and stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell as they focus on the circumstances of his disappearance and recovery.

Sgt. Mike Woody, a police spokesman, said in an email Friday that he had no immediate updates on the case. The Associated Press has left messages seeking comment from the boy's mother, Africa Shippings.

Dillard-Bothuell was arrested Thursday on a probation violation related to a misdemeanor gun charge. Her two children have been placed into Children's Protective Services custody.

Dillard-Bothuell appeared in court on Friday when she was ordered to wear the tether and a judge set personal bond at $5,000. She's due back in court July 11. Mark Magidson, a lawyer representing Dillard-Bothuell and her husband, said her arrest was "highly disingenuous" and he's advised her not to talk to investigators unless he's present.

After the hearing, the elder Bothuell told reporters: "I have something to say, but I can't right now."

The boy's father, who made tearful television pleas for help while his son was missing, has said he had no idea the boy was in the basement. Bothuell reported his son missing June 14. The boy had been working out at home about 9 p.m., went to use the restroom and never returned, Bothuell told police.

Officers searched the home on at least three occasions before they stumbled across the boy apparently hiding behind boxes and a large plastic drum in the basement Wednesday afternoon. There was some bedding, soda bottles and cereal nearby, but police have said they do not believe the boy had been in the basement area the whole time.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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