The Detroit boy who went missing for 11 days before being found in his father’s basement may have feared punishment for stopping in the middle a strict exercise routine, NBC station WDIV reported Thursday. The exercise? Charlie Bothuell was under a strict regimen and required to do 4,000 strides on an elliptical trainer without break, WDIV said, citing sources. The station reported police said he was in the middle of the exercise when he had to go to the bathroom and got off the trainer. WDIV said the stepmother reported that to his father, and the boy was afraid of the response.
The boy went missing June 14 and was found Wednesday. His father, Charles Bothuell IV, was on TV to appeal for help finding the boy when he was told Charlie had been found. Detroit police said he was found crouching behind a makeshift barricade of boxes in the basement, WDIV reported. The station said police believe the boy was in the basement the whole time but would come upstairs to eat.