20-year-old Anthony Bennett, the boyfriend of Carnel’s 21-year-old mother Jaimee Chamberlain, has been charged with assaulting the youngster, just weeks before his death.
Jaimee told the FBI she saw her son with a bruised and swollen face, as well as a cut lip, in late-May or early-June. She has accused Bennett of striking Carnel when she was away from their home, and claimed Bennett picked the child up by the neck before dropping him.
Family members have also revealed Bennett was the last person to see Carnel before his disappearance, which led to a week-long manhunt in woods and ponds around the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe reservation.
Bennett now faces a charge of assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a child under 16, though federal prosecutors would not reveal whether the charge was a way to hold Bennett while more serious charges are being considered. Prosecutors have requested Bennett is not released on bond.
One person who seems convinced of Bennett’s guilt is Kevin Chamberlain, Jaimee’s cousin, who has become the family spokesman at this sad time. He told the Associated Press that Bennett came off as “a kind of wannabe thug,” adding:
“We have no choice but to believe [Anthony Bennett] had something to do with it. All eyes and arrows point right to him.”
Why Jaimee Chamberlain allowed her son to be in her boyfriend’s company while she believed abuse was ongoing is not yet known.