TORONTO – In a bizarre twist to the search for a missing 12-year-old Detroit boy, the boy’s father was told during a live television interview his son had been found alive in his basement.
Charlie Bothuell IV was caught off guard during the interview with Headline News’ Nancy Grace when he was informed his son, Charlie Bothuell V, had been found alive in their basement.
Detroit police say they found Bothuell V behind some boxes and a large plastic drum.
“We are getting reports that your son has been found in your basement,” Grace said. “Sir? Mr. Bothuell? How could your son be alive in your basement?”
The revelation came, live on air, and appeared to shock Bothuell to find out his son who had been missing for almost two weeks was alive.
Police reportedly found the boy after serving a search warrant on the home as part of an investigation into the boy’s disappearance.
Grace asked if Bothuell had searched the basement himself.
“I checked my basement, the FBI checked my basement, the Detroit police checked my basement, my wife checked my basement. I’ve been down there several times. We’ve all been checking,” Bothuell IV said.
Detroit police confirmed investigators had searched the home four previous times, including once with a cadaver dog, and found no signs of the missing 12-year-old.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said when police found the boy he appeared to be hiding behind a makeshift barricade with bedding nearby.
Craig had told reporters just hours earlier police “were not ruling out the possibility of homicide.”
WATCH: Father of missing boy adamant he had nothing to do with boy’s disappearance
During an impromptu press conference outside Bothuell’s home following the Nancy Grace show he vehemently denied knowing the whereabouts of his son.
“I thought my son was dead,” Bothuell said breaking down into tears as he spoke with reporters.
“For anybody to imply that I somehow knew my son was in the basement is absurd and it’s wrong,” he said. “I love my son, I’m glad that he’s home and he’s going to have the great future he deserves.”
Police Chief Craig said there were still many unanswered questions in the investigation, like how police could miss finding the boy after repeated trips to the residence.
Police have also said the father took a polygraph test while his son was still missing, but the stepmother, who lives at Detroit home with the boy, had refused.
Investigators also said Thursday that the stepmother was arrested on a probation violation related to a misdemeanour gun charge. Her two children have been placed into Children’s Protective Services custody.
According to the Detroit Free Press the boy had been missing since June 14.
*With files from the Associated Press
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