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Nancy Grace Breaks News to Dad in Bizarre Case of Missing 12-Year-Old

As police were announcing they found 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell V alive in the home authorities had searched three times before, cable TV news host Nancy Grace delivered the news to his father in a live interview.

Charlie Bothuell V, 12, was discovered alive and well Wednesday behind a makeshift barrier in the basement of a home police had searched three times before. (Photo: Detroit Police)
Charlie Bothuell V, 12, was discovered alive and well Wednesday behind a makeshift barrier in the basement of a home police had searched three times before. (Photo: Detroit Police)

Detroit police scoured the city for nearly two weeks to find Charlie Bothuell V, even bringing in a cadaver dog to search for the missing 12-year-old in a baffling case that has an even more baffling ending.

They found Charlie, who hadn't been seen since June 14, alive, well and happy to see police on Wednesday, hidden behind a makeshift barrier in the basement that had been thoroughly searched three times before, the Detroit Free Press reports.

That wasn’t the only bizarre twist in a case full of them. 

In her trademark breathless style, Nancy Grace delivered the jaw-dropping news to the missing boy’s father, Charlie Bothuell IV, in a live interview that occurred at the same time police announced they had found the boy.

“Charlie, we’re getting reports that your son has been found in your basement,” Grace said

“Sir? Mr. Bothuell are you, are you … ”

“What?” he asked, looking shocked.

“We are getting reports that your son has been found alive in your basement … we’re getting that right now, how could your son be alive in your basement?”

The elder Bothuell stammered, then finally said “I have no idea …”

Law enforcement authorities in Detroit – the police department, the FBI and others whose previous searches of the home 1300 block of Nicolet Place turned up no sign of Charlie – are stymied, too.

“In 37 years of policing, I will tell you, I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a news conference Wednesday after officers stumbled on young Charlie in a mechanical room. “But the outcome, I couldn’t be happier.”

Craig said police are “not certain” Charlie was in the home during the previous three visits, WWJ/AP reports.

Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said the barricade looked “somewhat staged” and they don’t think the boy could have made it himself. “You could tell he was there for a short while,” he said. “It wasn’t any grand, elaborate setup.”

When they found him, Charlie was hungry and nervous, Craig said, according to the WWJ/AP report.

The boy is in protective custody and is being medically evaluated. Police said he has been talking to them about where he has been for the last 12 days, but they declined to share that information with reporters.

Investigators are looking at child abuse as a possibility. Evidence taken from an undisclosed location included PVC pipe.

Charlie Bothuell IV, a registered nurse who has his own business in Southfield, reported his son missing on Father’s Day. The elder Bothuell vehemently denied any wrongdoing and offered to take a lie-detector test.

“For anyone to imply that I somehow knew that my son was on the basement, it’s absurd and wrong,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “I love my son. I’m glad that he’s home and he’s goig to have the great future that he deserves to have.”

The boy reportedly left his home after he and his stepmother, who police said declined to take a lie-detector test, had argued about unfinished chores.

Donna Smith June 27, 2014 at 01:19 PM
Receiving good news from Nancy Grace is never a good thing. I agree the news should have come from the police. I don't understand why he didn't tear off his microphone and leave. If your child had been missing and was just found would you want to spend that time with someone like Nancy Grace? Icebergs exude more warmth than she does.
Sue Czarnecki June 27, 2014 at 01:22 PM
But wasn't this GOOD news ??? Why not share it ??? If anyone should get booted from the airwaves - his name rhymes with Flush.
Ken Weir June 27, 2014 at 03:01 PM
I'm on the fence about the father's reaction. I don't have children but I believe my initial gut would be to jump out of my seat to go and see my son. However if I'm in shock because I've been told that my son is probably dead, I may stutter and be frozen for a moment. The other details are very disturbing. The pipe that is used for discipline, the blood in the bedroom, the step mom failing the lie detector test and the fact that someone has been feeding the boy. He is a good looking kid and the news reports say that he is very bright. I'm glad they found the kid and I hope his parents were not abusing him. Overall it does not look good for the parents. Nancy Grace is so slimy, bleh.
Donna Smith June 27, 2014 at 04:35 PM
I watched the 3 minute segment again and I am even more disgusted by how she handled this. What I didn't catch the first time was that she told the father that his son was found alive BEFORE the reports were confirmed, that her people were trying to confirm the reports but she told him anyway. I find that to be extremely vile. What if the reports were wrong? Thankfully the boy was found alive. There are way too many cases of missing kids who are never found.
RON Ostrodamus June 29, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Did anyone notice that the police brought in a "cadaver dog" who found nothing as obviously this canine's training is very specific. Maybe a dog that is trained to sniff out missing people from an article of clothing, or one used to locate fleeing suspects would have been a better idea. You would think the FBI could figure that one out. Another bungle in the jungle. Don't get me started on the media.

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