The body of Carnel Chamberlain was discovered under the home he shared with his mother. Photo courtesy: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WZZM) - It's now almost a full week since a four year old boy disappeared in Mount Pleasant, but searchers say they are not giving up on finding Carnel Chamberlain alive.
"I want to make that perfectly clear," says Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe spokesman Frank Cloutier. "We have not lost hope on Carnel. This is absolutely a search and rescue."
Divers from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department and Kent County deputies on horseback are part of the huge force looking for the missing boy. So far they've found nothing.
"it's killing me, It's killing me inside, " says Jaimee Chamberlain, the missing boy's mother.
The child disappeared from his home on the Saginaw Chippewa reservation sometime Thursday night while his mother was at work at the nearby Soaring Eagle Casino. She'd left her son in the care of boyfriend Anthony Bennett, 20, who says he doesn't know what happened to Carnel.
"I just don't believe him," says Chamberlain. "Everything he's saying is backwards. It doesn't make any sense to me."
Bennett is considered a person of interest by investigators. He has been searched and questioned by tribal police and agents from the FBI, but he is not under arrest.
"He refuses to take a polygraph test," says Chamberlain. "We just want him to take a polygraph test to see if he's lying or not. Obviously, he is hiding something."
Thursday night, the family and their supporters are planning to gather at the tribal operations center across from the Soaring Eagle Casino to light candles and offer prayers for the boy's safe return.
"I'm 21 years old and I thought I would be able to see my son get old," says Chamberlain. "I thought I would be able to see him have kids. Now I feel like it's not going to happen anymore.
I just feel like I'm going to be looking for my son forever."