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Boy found in basement now living with mother

This photo provided by the Detroit Police Department shows Charlie Bothuell V, 12, of Detroit, who has been missing since 14 June Image copyright AP

A 12-year-old found in the basement of his father's block of flats after being missing for 11 days is in his mother's custody, police in Detroit have said.

Police say they are not allowing Charlie Bothuell to have contact with his father or stepmother.

Investigators have not ruled out abuse but the father, also Charles, denies he has ever harmed his son.

Police officers found the boy, who had been feared dead, behind a clutter of boxes on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Detroit Free Press reported, citing a court document not released publicly, that Charlie told investigators that his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, instructed him to go to the basement and "not to come out, no matter what he hears" and did not bring him food.

Meanwhile, in a Friday court hearing it was revealed the boy's body was marked with bruises that indicated he had been physically abused in the past, the Detroit News reported.

Mr Bothuell's lawyer Mark Magidson told local media that he expected child abuse charges would be filed against his client.

'Highly disingenuous'

On Wednesday, Mr Bothuell was appealing to HLN viewers for help when presenter Nancy Grace told him Charlie had been found alive and well.

The father appeared to be stunned and said, "What?"

He told the presenter his family, Detroit police and FBI had searched the multiple-flat building's basement several times.

Earlier in the day, the police said they feared the boy was dead.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Charles Bothuell strongly denies any abuse of his son

"God, they brought dogs, everything... Everybody has searched," Charles Bothuell IV said. "Oh God, my son."

Police also confirmed to local media they had searched the family's basement with a cadaver dog, adding investigators were not sure Charlie had been in the basement for the full 11 days.

The boy's stepmother was also arrested on Thursday for violating her probation on a misdemeanour gun charge.

Mr Magidson told reporters her arrest was "highly disingenuous" and said he had advised her not to talk to investigators unless he was present.

As he left a court hearing for his wife on Friday, Mr Bothuell told reporters: "I have something to say, but I can't right now."

Charlie was given medical attention at a nearby hospital after he was found, with Police Sgt Mike Woody telling US media the boy was "doing fine".

"I've never seen anything quite like this," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters on Wednesday. "But the outcome - I couldn't be happier."

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