DETROIT — A 12-year-old boy who was found alive in his father's basement almost 11 days after he went missing had been in another location during earlier searches of the house, Detroit Police said Thursday.
Officers would have discovered Charlie Bothuell V otherwise, said Sgt. Michael Woody, a police spokesman. The area in which the boy was found is not a standard basement but more of a small mechanical room.
Police found the boy Wednesday behind a large container with some food, including cereal and pop bottles.
"It was somewhat staged, but ... you could tell he was there for a short while," Woody said, declining to specify where police believe the boy had been since he disappeared from his east side Detroit home June 14. "It wasn't any grand, elaborate setup."
Charlie was wearing the same clothes he'd had on when he disappeared, Woody said.
Police said Charlie's condition is good and he has been talking to them. They have declined to say exactly where the boy is being kept.
"He was in a hospital this morning," Woody said. "He is being closely monitored by us."
The saga of a family searching for a missing child took an abrupt and bizarre turn Wednesday. Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a news conference to announce that police were not ruling out the possibility of homicide in the case followed hours later with news that the boy had been found alive.
Video images outside the family home showed Charlie's father, Charlie Bothuell IV, collapsing in the arms of WDIV-TV reporter Guy Gordon after learning the good news.
Woody said the investigation is continuing, and police potentially are looking at child-abuse issues. Police are working with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and will be in touch with the Department of Human Services and other agencies.
Evidence, including a PVC pipe found at another undisclosed location, is part of the investigation, Woody said.
Other family members, including Charlie's mother, stepmother and Bothuell, have been speaking with police. Bothuell, a registered nurse who runs a company based in Southfield, Mich., was not immediately available for comment Thursday.
He earlier had criticized police for their initial reaction to the case and their treatment of him and his family. He offered to take a public lie-detector test.
The boy left his home less than a mile from the Detroit River at about 9 p.m. ET June 14 after the boy's stepmother had a discussion with him over unfinished chores, Bothuell said. The boy was in the middle of a workout when he left.
The search began that night.
Contributing: Gina Damron, Detroit Free Press