TIME Crime

Cops: Missing Boy Found in Basement Says Father Abused Him

Charlie Bothuell reportedly told police his father struck him with a PVC pipe

The 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for 11 days before he was discovered in the basement belonging to his father and stepmother told authorities that his father abused him, according to documents released Saturday.

Charlie Bothuell told medical examiners that a scar on his body was caused by a PVC pipe that his father, Charles Bothuell, drove into his chest, NBC News reports. He also said that he was barricaded in the basement and told by his stepmother to stay there “no matter what he hears.”

The boy’s grandmother reportedly told the FBI that “he was very skinny, and almost looked like a cancer patient” when she saw him.

His stepmother had no comment. Mark Magidson, the attorney for the boy’s father, Charles Bothuell IV, said Friday that the 12-year-old was not abused and that the bruises were from “just a boy being a boy.” Still, he said he expected the father to face charges. The family had previously said they thought the boy went missing on his own.

The case received widespread attention this week when the elder Bothuell was told on live television that his son had been discovered in his basement.

Charlie Bothuell is now staying with his birth mother, while his step-siblings, a 4-year-old and a 10-month-old, entered the care of Child Protective Services.

[NBC News]

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