Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 

The stepmother of a 12-year-old boy found in his basement after an 11-day search was cleared of unrelated probation violation charges Friday, a day after she and her husband faced a hearing contesting their parental rights. Monique Dillard-Bothuell was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm shortly after her stepson, Charlie, was located in the basement. The charges were dropped, but Dillard-Bothuell was warned not to visit residences with firearms, which is in violation of her parole conditions stemming from previous weapons offense charges.

On Thursday, Dillard-Bothuell and her husband, Charlie Bothuell IV, were in a different courtroom. The Wayne County Department of Human Services filed two petitions in an effort to keep Dillard-Bothuell's two birth children out of the couple's home because of the alleged abuse against Charlie, who is currently staying with his mother. The petitions said Charlie told investigators he was hit with a PVC pipe, forced to complete strenuous workouts and threatened by Dillard-Bothuell who would state, "I can make you disappear." Formal charges have not been brought against the couple, but they are under investigation, according to Maria Miller, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor.


— Elisha Fieldstadt