While Anthony Bennett was not charged in the death of Carnel Chamberlain on Friday, family members said he was the last person to see Carnel before his disappearance June 21. A weeklong, seemingly fruitless search of woods and ponds around the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe reservation ended Thursday at the child's home.
Bennett faces a charge of assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a child under 16, and was sent back to jail after the brief hearing in federal court in Bay City to await a detention hearing next week.
Federal prosecutors, who handle major crimes on Indian reservations, do not want him released on bond, but would not comment when asked if Bennett was being charged with assault as a way of holding him until a more serious charge is brought.
The boy's mother, 21-year-old Jaimee Chamberlain, has said Bennett was in charge of watching Carnel while she was at work. When she returned, the boy was gone.
Kevin Chamberlain — Jaimee's cousin, a family spokesman and the tribe's former chief — said Bennett had been in his cousin's life for about seven months. He said the family believed Bennett had a "troubled past" and that he came off as "a kind of wannabe thug."