Parental Rights Terminated for Parents of Missing Boy Who Was Found in Their Own Basement

Several weeks ago, everyone following the case of a 12-year-old boy who went missing in Detroit, Michigan was shocked to hear that the boy had been discovered 11 days later — right in his own basement, having evaded both police and his parents. In a recent July hearing, the parents have now lost their parental rights.

The case was one of the most bizarre missing children situations to happen in many years. The boy’s father, Charlie Bothuell V, was on national TV with Nancy Grace when they told him his son had been found in the basement. He was seemingly baffled by this news.

The boy, Charlie Bothuell IV, was questioned by authorities. He reported that his father had beaten him with a PVC pipe, and his stepmother had told him to keep quiet and stay hidden while investigators searched for the boy throughout the house and in town. He said he had not been fed for days and had to sneak upstairs for food when his parents are out. Before hiding, he was subjected to incredibly rigorous workout regiments twice daily. The petition stated that at times, the 12 year old “was in too much pain to complete his workout due to being hit with the PVC pipe on his feet.”

Multiple allegations of abuse were filed in a six-page report that was filed this week by the Michigan Department of Human Services, which asked that the boys’ stepmother and father have their parental rights terminated.

“For anyone to imply that I somehow knew that my son was on the basement, it’s absurd and wrong,” said Bothuell in an interview with the Detroit Free Press While denying knowledge of the boy’s whereabouts, he does admit having beat him with a PVC pipe. The parental rights termination was granted this week. The court also asked that Bothuell and his wife lose parental rights for their other two children, which was granted by the judge. All children are currently living with relatives.

“It is stories such as this that cause family law attorneys to lose sleep at night,” says Carla Zolman, Attorney at Zolman Law Firm.

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