There is a new twist in the mystery of the missing who was boy found alive in his own father’s basement.
Twelve-year-old Charlie Bothuell's stepmother was in court in Detroit on Friday after a night behind bars. The 37-year-old woman was busted for a probation violation unrelated to the missing boy investigation. But she is considered a "person of interest" in the case. Her four-year-old son and ten-month-old daughter were being cared for by child protective services. She pled not guilty to the probation violation.
Charlie, missing for nearly two weeks, was found in his father's basement hidden behind a barricade. There was a wooden pallet used as a table, some bedding, and snacks.
HLN’s Nancy Grace breaking the news to his father that Charlie had been found in the basement is now being called one of the most riveting live TV moments in recent years. The father's reaction is causing some to question if he knew where the boy was all along.
Grace said, “The barricade set up for the boy that he was hiding behind was of a nature that it would have been very difficult for a boy his age to do. Apparently it was put together with furniture like a dresser, a 55-gallon drum, a lot of boxes, and he was back behind that.”
Now, Charlie’s father is under investigation for suspected child abuse. Police recovered a plastic pipe, allegedly used to discipline the boy.
The father reportedly insisted little Charlie follow a grueling exercise reginmen of 4,000 steps on an elliptical trainer every day. The boy failed to complete the exercise the day he disappeared.
The stepmother reportedly texted Charlie’s dad that he was "not doing his chores" and he would "have to deal with that."
Bothuell has denied any acts of child abuse.
The boy's now in his mother's care. His father has been ordered to avoid contact with the child.