911 call for missing teen released - WSMV Channel 4

Investigators release 911 call for missing teen

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

Susan Smithburg bonded out of jail Thursday morning and drove off rather quickly. 

An SUV blocked the drive leading up to her Williamson County home.

Clearly, the Smithburgs didn't want to talk to Channel 4 about what's going on, or what happened to their son.

"Hi, I have a missing 16-year-old and I wasn't sure what I needed to do," said Smithburg in her 911 call.   

Smithburg reported Christopher missing on March 27.

She told dispatchers they had just finished fighting.

"I will tell you he's angry. I caught him in some lying and he was very, very angry. I think he walked off...walked off some steam," said Smithburg.   

Her tone wasn't frantic. Christopher was an apparent runaway from the start.

"I mean he does not have his wallet. He has no money. He hasn't eaten," Smithburg told dispatchers.

The not eating part is consistent with the police report

After six days investigators found Christopher hiding in a self-made fort in the woods.

They charged his mom Susan with abuse and neglect.

Investigators say she forced him to do 1,500 pushups, beat the child and didn't feed him.

"I mean it makes me sick to my stomach. It does. Honestly, my gut reaction is, 'this poor kid,'" said neighbor Sheena Jacobs. "Why adopt if you're going to abuse your children."

The Smithburgs adopted Christopher from the Philippines. They adopted two other children as well. 

Child counselor Tamara Elam said often adopted children come with unique problems.

"Sometimes they have to overcome the trauma that they're coming from before they can attach to their new parents," said Elam.

The case remains under investigation. DCS has custody of all three kids and they're now looking into both parents.

"They looked like a nice, happy family from the pictures and everything. You just never know what's going on inside the home," said Jacobs.

Smithburg is scheduled to appear in court next month.

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