As the investigation progresses in the case of a missing 12-year-old Michigan boy found alive in his father’s basement, his grandma says her son is not a suspect in the child’s disappearance..

Charlie Bothuell had been missing since June 14. His father, Charlie Bothuell IV, said he last saw him at his home. He said his son was working out, stopped to go to the bathroom and never came back. But late Wednesday, police found little Charlie in a small hiding space, reportedly with fresh chicken, cereal and Gatorade nearby.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the 12-year-old was found by investigators barricaded behind boxes. Craig added that, in his opinion, it would have been unlikely for Charlie to have built the barricade with a five-gallon drum himself.

He said he would not rule out the possibility that his parents knew Bothuell was hidden in the basement and noted that several searches of the home turned up nothing.

theGrio | Missing Detroit boy found in father’s basement alive

Craig also said the townhouse was searched multiple times with a cadaver dog without finding evidence the boy was hiding. He also said investigators are not certain Botheull was in the basement the entire time he was missing.

“I didn’t know,” Botheull’s father, Charles Botheull IV, said about his son’s location after he was found Wednesday afternoon.

He called assertions that his wife, the boy’s stepmother, hid the child in the basement “absurd.”

“My wife wouldn’t do that,” he said.

Police removed Charlie Botheull from the house, and he hasn’t yet had contact with his parents. He will stay with police overnight and undergo a medical evaluation. He won’t see his parents until the morning, at least.

“He needs a whole lot of help at this point,” said the elder Botheull about his son’s future.

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