Mother arrested in case of teen missing for five days - WSMV Channel 4

Mother arrested in case of teen missing for five days

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Susan Smithburg‎ (Photo from TBI) Susan Smithburg‎ (Photo from TBI)
Christopher Smithburg Christopher Smithburg
FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

The mother of a Williamson County teenager who went missing for five days before being found Tuesday in rural Rutherford County has been arrested in the case.

Susan Smithburg‎ was brought into custody Wednesday afternoon and charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect, according to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.

She was jailed on $100,000 bond.

Her son, 16-year-old Christopher Smithburg, was found safe and in good condition Tuesday after he was reported missing March 27.

He was found in a handmade shelter in a wooded area near Smyrna. A homeowner found Christopher and alerted authorities.

"I just happened to be riding my tractor and said I'm gonna go look for him," Jesse Williams said.

Williams said he just felt like somebody was around.

"And I turned and looked, and he was sitting there," Williams said. "I said, 'Are you Christopher?' And he said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'They're looking for you.'"

Williams said the teen had a machete and bow-and-arrow, along with supplies to live in the shelter.

In a Facebook post late Tuesday, Susan Smithburg wrote:

"As many of you know, our son, Christopher, has been found safe! Our thanks to God and for all the prayers worldwide, our friends, friends of friends, all our Nolensville community family, our Nolensville First United Methodist Church family, our other children who came from far and wide to support and pray for his safe return, the hundreds of law enforcement and medical personnel, those in the Nashville and Baton Rouge metro areas, and the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of people praying non-stop for his safe return. Your support, prayers and friendship, along with God's abiding care is what has gotten us through the past 6 days. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation joined the case over the weekend at the request of the sheriff's office and district attorney. The TBI said agents then became aware of an incident in the family's home just before Christopher's disappearance that led to the arrest and charges.

Further details were not released.

Susan Smithburg is due to appear April 17 in General Sessions Court.

The Department of Children's Services said there are no known previous incidents at the home, but three children from the Smithburg home, ages 17, 16 and 10, are now coming into state care over concerns for their safety.

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