Charlie was found by police June 25 as his father, Charlie Bothuell IV, appeared live on cable TV, pleading for the nation’s help in the search for his missing son. When legal commentator Nancy Grace told him his son was alive — in “Daddy’s basement” — Bothuell seemed at a loss for words.
“I checked my basement. The FBI checked my basement. The Detroit police checked my basement. My wife checked my basement,” he said. “We’ve all been checking.”
But that’s exactly where his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, allegedly told him to go 11 days earlier, Charlie told authorities. He said she told him to go down there because she didn’t believe he had finished one of his twice-a-day workouts — which allegedly included 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 arm curls with a 25-pound weight and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine, according to reports.
If he didn’t finish within an hour, he told them, he’d have to start over again.
“Shut up, stay quiet and don’t say anything no matter what you hear,” Charlie said she told him. And “I know where the sharp knives are. … I can make you disappear.”
Charlie told police he heard the officers who were looking for him while he was down there. He would wait until it was quiet, he said, and then head upstairs for protein shakes and dry cereal.
The allegations came out in a petition filed in Wayne County juvenile court. It states doctors found a scar on Charlie’s chest where, he told authorities, his father allegedly drove a PVC pipe into his body. He was also allegedly hit on his head, arms, thighs and feet which, he said, sometimes making him too sore to finish his daily workouts, Reuters reported.
The FBI found a PVC pipe that had allegedly been used to discipline Charlie. It had blood on it, according to the petition.
Dillard-Bothuell’s attorney, Mark Magidson, said there was no child abuse.
“Was there corporal punishment on some occasions? There may have been,” he told the AP. “Once all the evidence is out, you’ll understand why.”
As for the workouts, Magidson said Charlie was overweight when he moved in with his father.
Bothuell’s attorney, Stephanie Carson, declined to comment, the AP said.
The case will resume July 17. No criminal charges have been filed.