The attorney for the father of a boy who was missing for 11 days until he was found in the basement of his Detroit home said the 12-year-old was not abused by either his dad or his wife — but he expects the man to be charged with abuse.
Attorney Mark Magidson said Friday that Charles Bothuell IV and stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell are good parents who love the boy — but "certain things are expected of him," including doing chores and schoolwork.
The boy, Charlie Bothuell, went missing on June 14. NBC station WDIV reported the child may have feared punishment for stopping in the middle of a strict exercise routine imposed by his dad, which involved doing 4,000 strides on an elliptical machine without taking a break.
Bothuell's attorney said the workouts began because the boy was overweight when he came to live with his father.
Magidson said Charlie was not struck by his parents, and the bruises on his body are due to "just a boy being a boy." He also said the boy had a history of disruptive behavior and discipline issues both at home and at school.
Detroit police said Charlie was found crouching behind a makeshift barricade of boxes in the basement Wednesday. Magidson said he had no idea how long the child was in the basement or how he got there. The family said they believe Charlie disappeared on his own.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Dillard-Bothuell was fitted with a tracking device pending a court hearing after she was arrested for a probation violation. The arrest was not related to Charlie's disappearance. The woman had previously been convicted for buying a gun without a permit, WDIV reported.
Charlie is now staying with his mother.
— Ron Mott, Alan Cohen and Becky Bratu