February 20, 2015 / 3:00 PM / 2 years ago

Parents of Michigan boy found in basement charged with torture

(Reuters) - The parents of a 12-year-old Detroit boy reported missing for 11 days before he was found last June by police emaciated in his family's basement have been charged with torture and child abuse, prosecutors said on Friday.

Charles Bothuell IV, 46, and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, 37, could face up to life in prison if convicted of torture and four years in prison if convicted of second-degree child abuse, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said the child's parents physically abused him, depriving him of food, banishing him to the basement and forcing extreme exercise.

The boy's father had reported him missing on June 14, triggering a widespread police search that came up empty until a Michigan State Police sergeant and an FBI agent found him alive and hungry barricaded behind boxes in the basement of his house.

The child was very thin and had marks on his upper body when he was found, prosecutors said.

Detroit police arrested Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell on Friday morning, prosecutors said. The two are expected to appear in court later on Friday.

Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Susan Heavey

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