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Search for missing Michigan boy becomes criminal probe

The family of 4-year-old Carnel Chamberlain, above, said his body was found Thursday under a wood porch or deck at the home where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend.

The family of 4-year-old Carnel Chamberlain, above, said his body was found Thursday under a wood porch or deck at the home where he lived with his mother and her boyfriend.  (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children )

Authorities say the search for a 4-year-old boy reported missing from a mid-Michigan Indian reservation is now a criminal investigation.

Carnel Chamberlain disappeared last Thursday while in the care of his mother's boyfriend.

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe spokesman Frank Cloutier says a search warrant to collect physical evidence was executed Monday. He says the warrant was related to the mother's boyfriend, but did not offer further details.

Carnel's mother says her boyfriend was caring for the boy at her home near Mount Pleasant while she was at work. The tribe said the boyfriend initially wasn't cooperative.

Cloutier says tribal police also have secured Carnel's home to preserve any possible evidence.

The tribe says Tuesday's search for Carnel is focused on a wooded area near a wastewater treatment plant.