Christopher got into trouble in school, and was ultimately sent to a boarding school and then homeschooled. His mother put an alarm on his bedroom door, and her use of physical discipline escalated over time. On March 26, Christopher lied to his mother about making toast and was punished by being forced to do 1,500 push-ups. After four hours of push-ups, Christopher could not continue, so Smithburg hit him in the head. The next day, Susan struck Christopher again and the boy ran away from home, camping in the woods for six days until authorities found him and he reported the abuse. Christopher’s siblings were also punished by being forced to exercise excessively.
Smithburg was charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect. Christopher was placed in foster care and reportedly did well both at home and at school. The charges against Smithburg were later dropped after she produced documents showing that Christopher was 18 at the time the abuse occurred.
Date: March 27, 2014
Location: Nolensville, Tennessee