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Missing Boy's Stepmom Arraigned; Armed U.S. Drones Now Fly Over Baghdad; Cops Talk To Missing Boy Found In Basement; U.S. Advances To World Cup Knockout Round

Aired June 27, 2014 - 10:00   ET



NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST, "NANCY GRACE": -- little Charlie yet?


GRACE: I know that's got to be breaking your heart. Why won't police let you see the boy? Where is he?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I'm breaking a no comment rule but I was briefly on the phone with him when he called my mother, and I need to go now.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We'll talk with Nancy Grace about this in just a minute. But first CNN's Alexandra Field is in that Detroit courtroom, she joins us now by phone to tell us more. Good morning.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Good morning, Carol. We are expecting to see Monique Dillard Bothuell in just a few minutes in criminal court in Detroit. This story, Carol, has got so many layers. To be clear what's going on this morning is that she's being arraigned following a violation of her probation. This all stems back to an earlier incident back in January of this year. She pleaded guilty to purchasing a pistol without a permit at that time. She was sentenced to two years of probation.

This week, on Monday, police issued a warrant for violating the terms of that probation. She was taken into custody yesterday. We will see her in court for the arraignment later this morning. All of this happening, of course, while investigators try to sort out where that 12-year-old boy was for the 11 days before he was finally found in his father's basement.


FIELD (voice-over): The 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell is with his mother this morning after suddenly being found in his father's home Wednesday, 11 days after disappearing.

CHARLES BOTHUELL, CHARLIE BOTHUELL'S FATHER: We have not done anything wrong to my son, nothing but to try to help. FIELD: On Thursday, Charlie's stepmother was taken into custody for a probation violation on unrelated weapons charge as the boy's father, Charles Bothuell, tells Nancy Grace over the phone, he has not yet seen his son.

GRACE: Why won't police let you see the boy? Where is he?

BOTHUELL: You know, I'm breaking the no comment rule. I was briefly on the phone with him when he called my mother, and I need to go now because I'm not listening.

FIELD: Police found Charlie in his own basement. The boy crouched down and barricaded behind a stock of boxes and a 55-gallon barrel. Items so heavy, officials say he couldn't have constructed it himself. The 12-year-old seemingly excited to see police who say he was hungry.

GRACE: Out to the father of the --

FIELD: HLN's Nancy Grace broke the news to Bothuell that his son was found live on air.

GRACE: We're getting reports that your son has been found in your basement. Sir? Mr. Bothuell, are you --


GRACE: Yes. We are getting reports that your son has been found alive in your basement.


GRACE: We're getting that right now from -- how could your son be alive in your basement?

BOTHUELL: I have -- I have no idea.

FIELD: Charlie's father says the basement was checked repeatedly.

BOTHUELL: The FBI searched, the Detroit police searched. We've all searched. God, they brought dogs, everything. Everybody has searched. What -- God, my son.

FIELD: Police say a PVC pipe and bloody clothing were found in the home. They had not elaborated on the significance of that. Police have not ruled out child abuse, but no charges have been filed.

BOTHUELL: For anybody to imply that I somehow knew that my son was in the basement, it's absurd and it's wrong. I love my son.


FIELD: This morning, police are saying that they are hoping to continue to speak to the 12-year-old boy, they've already spoken to him. They could speak to him again as early today. They are going to try to pull information from him including what charges. As you know now his stepmother appearing in court here in Detroit this morning to answer a charge of violation of probation and Carol, we should shortly be learning more about the details of that charge. We'll get back to you -- Carol

COSTELLO: All right, we'll check back. Alexandra Field, many thanks.

Now to breaking news, as terrorists in Iraq advanced toward Baghdad, the United States military begins armed drone flights over the capital city. It comes as American military advisers are in place in an effort to calm rising tensions. Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, joins us now with this information. Tell us more, Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Carol, let me sort it all out for everybody. A U.S. official tells me indeed in the last 24 hours, the U.S. military began flying armed drone flights over the Baghdad area. That's drones with missiles on them. This is not about air strikes. There's no authority to conduct offensive air strikes.

But what is it about is providing protection for 180 military advisers now in the Baghdad area and what they are doing at this point is sort of fanning out if you will, and having a look at Iraqi forces trying to assess how capable the Iraqi forces are of doing their job, what else needs to be done and what else the U.S. might be able to help with in assessing Iraqi forces.

They want to get them back into that fight. They also are going to start assessing what the Sunni militants have, the ISIS forces if you will. So as the U.S. troops go -- advisers go out and about, the Pentagon has to provide protection for them. This is, you know, Baghdad is turning into a potential active war zone on the Iraqi side so they need to have some protection overhead.

That is the role of these armed drones. But make no mistake, this kind of activity hasn't been seen since U.S. troops left, so it certainly is an indication of how serious the Pentagon takes the potential threat there -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Barbara Starr, reporting live from the Pentagon this morning. Thank you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, lose the battle, win the war. The U.S. gets beat, but still advances at the World Cup. Talk about the next match with Rachel Nichols.


COSTELLO: Right now, 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell's step mother is in a Detroit courtroom, she's facing probation violations in unrelated charges in her son's disappearance. It is a strange story of 12-year- old Charlie Bothuell who disappeared from his family's home and then 11 days later, was found hiding in his father's basement.

The father found out the kid was in the basement on Nancy Grace's show. Now there are sort of accusations flying around out there that child abuse may have been involved in this case. So let's bring in Nancy Grace. Nancy, you played such a central role in the way this story is developing. What other information can you tell us about this family?

GRACE (via telephone): Well, what we're learning regarding the step mother being put behind bars in the night, it's not as bad as it sounds at first blush. What happened was the mom was pulled over on the side of the road, police approached her and she tells them that she has a gun in the car and she has an expired gun license.

Well, they arrest her for that, and I was surprised at that arrest, but that happens sometimes back. When they come to search the home looking for 12-year-old Charlie, they find a gun. I notice they did not arrest her at that time. She questioned her about his disappearance. They re-questioned her.

And I get the sense that when they did not get the answers they were looking for, they revoked her probation, and she simmered behind bars that night. I wonder if that jogged her memory at all as to why Charlie was hiding or had run away to start with. I think that's the central focus now.

COSTELLO: There's accusations of child abuse floating around out there. Yesterday, we found out that police recovered a PVC pipe and some bloody clothing from inside the home. We weren't sure what those items were about, but today, is it becoming more clear?

GRACE: Well, there are accusations flying about. I think it's a big, big clue that police keep saying we have not ruled out charges of child abuse, and we're still investigating. Also, think about it. When children go missing and they are found, we see the happy reunion. That's not happening here.

Charlie V has not been reunited with his father, Charles Bothuell IV. Last night, I learned that Charles IV, the father had spoken to Charlie and he told me the way that he got to speak to Charlie was Charlie was speaking to his grandmother and they handed the phone off to the father.

The boy did not call his father. Right now, he's with his biological mother who lives about two miles away and he has not seen his father at all, and also disturbingly, the family's other two siblings -- Charlie has five in all, but the two who were living with the stepmother are now in protective custody.

The mother is behind bars. They can't be with the father because he is under investigation. They have nowhere to go. Those two children, very young, one is four years old, one is I think 7 months or so old, they are in CPS custody. That's not good.

COSTELLO: We've also learned some of the disciplinary actions that Charles took against his son.

GRACE: When he was talking to us, right before he went on the air, and I find out the boy has been found in the basement, he was telling us that when the boy disappeared, he had just gotten a text from the stepmother, Monique Bothuell, who is behind bars, who is in court, that Charlie had not, quote, "done his chores" and she sent a picture, a text. Apparently what the chores were, it's a very intense exercise regimen he's got the 12-year-old boy on and the boy left during that work out to run away.

COSTELLO: When we're talking about work, we're talking about 4,000 steps on an elliptical machine s is that right?

GRACE: That has been what we're hearing, 4,000 steps on an elliptical machine. That's a lot for a 12-year-old boy. The father also told us, yes, he does his physical work out every day, every single day and that he loves it. That's what he told us.

COSTELLO: Well, I'm sure --

GRACE: I don't think he loves it. I don't think he loves it.

COSTELLO: I can't imagine he would, but I'm sure you'll continue to find out more information on this story. Nancy Grace, thank you so much for joining me this morning. I appreciate it.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

COSTELLO: You're welcome. Let's head back to Capitol Hill. Amid all the gridlock and partisan sniping, there's apparently one issue that several Democrats and Republicans actually agree on. Immigration reform is dead. At least until after President Obama leaves office.

Now, the issue is complicated by what the president and others in Washington have called a humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico where thousands of undocumented, unaccompanied children have been captured in recent months. Capitol Hill reporter, Lisa Desjardin is in Washington with more on this. Lisa, I understand, Nancy Pelosi is making her way to the border?

LISA DESJARDIN, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: That's right. A top Democrat in the House is going to the border tomorrow, Carol. Interesting as we've seen stories that immigration reform is dead, Democrats still want this issue out there. There's two reasons for that.

One, there are some Democrats who think there might be a slight window in July for perhaps some action in the House, but I have to tell you, Carol, talking to my Republican sources, they think that's a fantasy.

They think that for the rest of the year, this issue is over. Reasons why, well, Eric Cantor's loss in the state of Virginia, where immigration was an issue, and he was pushed back as being too liberal on immigration, that's one. The other all the stories that we've been reporting on.

And others about the influx of children at the border and the problems that this country is having trying to deal with that influx right now. Those two things have added for an already tough sell for immigration reform being nearly impossible.

But Carol, here's the thing, this is not just about this month, next month, obviously this is about ten million people in this country and their status, but politically, Carol, we're talking about the election this fall could be impacted by this lack of immigration reform.

You can bet Democrats are ready to push the issue in some key districts like in Arizona where there's some big fights and one Democrat I talk to, Carol, said if immigration doesn't pass before the president leaves office, they think it helps them regain the White House in 2016.

That's where we see differences. Some Republicans say maybe there's a chance next year for immigration reform. Republicans want to look like they are working on it because they know that this is a difficult issue for them in 2016 with the rise of Hispanic voters.

COSTELLO: All right, Lisa Desjardin, thanks so much. Still ahead in the NEWSROOM, the U.S. moves to the next round. Andy Scholes will join us. They actually escaped the group of death.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: They sure did, Carol. Can we beat Belgium though? That's the big question. We'll breakdown the match up and tell you who Las Vegas says is going to win the game. That's after the break.


COSTELLO: Not many, so soccer experts believed they would escape the group of death in the World Cup. But the players, the coach and the fans believe and now the Americans move on to the knock out round and a match-up against Belgium on Tuesday.

Here to break it down, Rachel Nichols, host of CNN's "UNGUARDED" and CNN's sports guy, Andy Scholes. Rachel, I want to start with you, what do we need to know about the battle with Belgium?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN HOST, "UNGUARDED": Yes, we have to bone up on Belgium right now, Carol. Belgium is a strong team. They went 3-3 in their first round matches and the last two times they played the United States before this World Cup, well, they won both of those games. But they are not a power house team the way say Germany was.

If you want to impress some of your friends with some soccer speak, you can talk about how the Belgians haven't been playing very beautiful soccer since getting to Brazil. The Americans on the other hand, they seem to only be getting stronger.

Remember, it was just 21 minutes into this World Cup that they lost one of their best players, striker, Jozy Altidore to that hamstring injury. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann says that he thinks Jozy will be ready for Tuesday's game. He should be able to play as well. This is such a confident bunch now, Carol.

You remember how at the beginning of the World Cup, Klinsmann kept saying it's not realistic to think that we can win. Well, after this last match against Germany, he was playing the "nobody believed in us," see we're better than you think card. Times have changed.

COSTELLO: I guess so. I'm glad. It's fabulous. So Andy has been going down like what are the chances of the U.S. team winning and what are the betters saying?

SCHOLES: Carol, we always like to be optimistic about these things. Las Vegas, they always keep it real when it comes to these things. They are giving the United States only a 20 percent chance of winning this game against regulation.

COSTELLO: Against Belgium.

SCHOLES: This is during regulation now. They are saying Belgium has a 52 percent chance of winning in regulation and saying it could be tied at the end of regulation. Carol, we are in the knockout round. There are no more ties. If we get through 90 minutes, and stoppage time, there's not going to be a tie. We will have two 15-minute periods, and if it's still tied after that, it will go to penalty kicks.

So someone will win this game on Tuesday, whether it's United States or Belgium. If you want to think about it now, the way the World Cup is now structured once you get to 16 teams, it's just like the NBA playoffs, eight teams on one side and eight teams on the other and eventually two teams will meet in the middle to play for the championship.

Now all that being said, the United States right now has the third worst odds of winning the World Cup. We're at 90-to-1.

COSTELLO: Sometimes it's good to be the underdog, don't you think?

SCHOLES: I like to throw all these things out there so if we do well, we're really happy with that. People call me a pessimist, but that's what I like to say.

COSTELLO: You are a realist, darn it. Thank you, Andy. Thank you, Rachel. I'll be back in a minute.


COSTELLO: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. Checking some top stories for you at 28 minutes past. A senior law enforcement source says the suspected mastermind of a deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi could arrive in the United States this weekend. Ahmed Abu Khattalah spent about two weeks being interrogated aboard the "USS New York" after his capture.

Hillary Clinton's new book the "Hard Choices" taking a hard hit. Sales in the United States plummeted in the second week since its release and sales abroad, well, Chinese publishers are refusing to sell the former first lady's latest memoir.

Leaving "The View," Sherry Sheppard and Jenny McCarthy are confirming they are indeed leaving the talk show. Sheppard has been with "The View" for seven years and has reportedly considered leaving for quite some time now. Last night, McCarthy tweeted if Sherry goes, I go too. My view will be changing as well with many hard working folks. Thanks to everyone at the show for your dedication and an amazing year. This news comes after Barbara Walters retired as host earlier this year.

On Monday, General Motors will make the compensation offer to victims and families who suffered as a result of a defect in GM vehicles. Faulty ignition switches were tied to at least 13 deaths. GM employees knew of the problem in 2004, but the automaker did not issue a recall until this year.

The Obama administration could very soon find itself with a much bigger role in the Syrian civil war. The White House now looks to Congress for half a billion dollars to aid moderate rebels. Mr. Obama wants the money to train and equip properly vetted fighters who were trying to topple the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.