Officer testifies police protocol used in Charlie Bothuell search

An officer makes a surprising admission at a hearing for the parents of the Detroit boy missing for 11 days last June, found in his parents' Detroit basement.

In the second week of testimony in the preliminary exam involving 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell, questions of whether a thorough search of the basement where he was found last summer, was made.

Police officer Lori Dillon resumed testimony against Charlie's father, 46-year-old Charlie Bothuell and his stepmother, 37-year-old Monique Dillard-Bothuell. The two are charged with torture and child abuse.

Charlie's father and stepmother deny the charges and insist they didn't know the boy was in the basement.

"Mr. and Mrs. Bothuell were telling us that he ran away," Dillon testified. "I'm looking for reasons why he may have ran away."

Prosecutors insist police followed protocol and say the now 13-year-old was forced into isolation, forced to perform rigorous workouts and given a limited diet.

Investigators also say he was hit with a plastic pipe.

Under cross-examination, Dillon says there was a "no stone-unturned" search and she wasn't surprised that Charlie wasn't found in his basement days later, based on the conditions. 

"You saw dirt in that room," asked an attorney. "Where?"

"The floor, the walls," Dillon said.

Also revealed was a trip to McDonald's after Charlie was recovered. The defense argued that a conversation with Charlie began.

"There was talking going on, yes," Dillon said. "There wasn't a lot of talking."

During her cross-examination, Dillon was asked about young Bothuells clothing, found hanging up during another search. And why the first search was so short.

"Ms. Dillard stated that she didn't see Charlie leave the house and that he went upstairs to take a shower," Dillon said. "I found it was interesting how would she know what clothing items description to give to police that he was wearing."

A judge must decide whether Bothuell's father and stepmother will go to trial.  Court resumes April 28.

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