On Wednesday, a Michigan boy who had been missing for 11 days was found in the basement of his house. But in yet another bizarre twist to the story, his father first heard the news that his son was still alive on national TV.
Even Detroit Police Chief James Craig was taken aback by the story surrounding 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell.
"I've never seen anything quite like this," the police chief told WXYZ TV in Detroit. "There's a lot of questions that need answering."
And Nancy Grace had quite a few questions, to the dismay of some commenters online, for Charlie's father. Also named Charles, the Michigan native appeared on Grace's HLN TV show Wednesday. Grace broke the news to Bothuell that his son was found alive in his home's basement. After he reacted, the TV anchor proceeded to ask him about the circumstances surrounding the search and discovery.
"How could your son be alive in your basement?" Grace asked.
Bothuell needed a few moments to compose himself before responding, "I have no idea." He then continued to attempt to catch his breath while still on camera.
About three and a half minutes passed between Grace telling Bothuell that his son was still alive and the father receiving a phone to call home. The father never stood up to walk off camera and find out what was happening, and Grace never offered.
"I don't know what to make of it this morning," the host told Robin Meade on HLN's "Morning Express" Thursday. Grace added that she first reported on Charlie after reading a report that Bothuell was running door-to-door looking for his child. "The story didn't fit together for me. But I still wanted to help find the boy, regardless of what had happened."
Authorities say the boy was found behind a barricade that must have been built by someone else. The father was given a lie detector test, and according to multiple reports, the results did not clear him of any wrongdoing. Charlie's mother refused to take a polygraph test.
While authorities try to sort everything out, people who watched the clip of Grace's interview online are weighing in with their thoughts on the story and the TV anchor.
"Let the man contact his family before you decide to question the situation," wrote Omid Gharipour. "He just found out about this on-air. How can you be that insensitive? Put people first before ratings!"
Others have commented that they don't understand how the father could continue to sit in the studio after finding out his son was alive. Bothuell insists that he, the FBI, police, and even a search crew with dogs searched his basement to no avail.
The investigation now turns to how and why the 12-year-old boy ended up in the basement. WXYZ reports that Charlie will talk about the details regarding incident with a psychiatrist, not police, which is a common procedure for cases involving minors.
- Crime & Justice
- Nancy Grace