Missing Alachua County Woman Found Alive Just Yards Away From Her Home
Published April 5th, 2013
ALACHUA COUNTY - A family's worst fears quickly turned to joy late Friday afternoon, following the discovery of Susan Smith, 44, in a patch of woods close to her home. Smith had been missing since early Thursday morning.
According to Smith's daughter, Kasey, 19, Susan suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety, and was prescribed medication for her problems. However, Kasey says her mother decided to stop taking her anxiety medication a few days before she disappeared, but says that still does not account for bizarre halucinations Smith experienced in the hours before the disappearance.
Michael Giambrone, 50, is Smith's live-in boyfriend of nearly 10 years and is the person who initially notified police that she was missing. Giambrone says his girlfriend began acting strange Wednesday night while watching TV. After a series of hallucinations, he says Smith planned to take a shower early Thursday morning.
"She was like, everything's fine, you know, I'm going to take a shower, I'm going to go ahead and sleep on the couch and watch some TV," said Giambrone. "And I wake up at 6:30 in the morning, alarm is going off, and she's nowhere to be found."
After a search by sheriff's deputies turned up no trace of Smith, friends and family members were combing the property Friday afternoon when one of them spotted Smith in the woods. Family friends say Smith appeared cold and wet, and had scratches over much of her body. One friend who helped the family search for Smith says she was talking to herself when she was found and was speaking incoherently.
Smith was immediately taken to Shands hospital for an evaluation. But now that their worst fears have passed, family members are wondering what could have caused her to act so strangely.
Her boyfriend says Smith never showed any signs of mental instability prior to this incident. Giambrone says he has no idea what could have triggered her hallucinations.
Kasey Smith says doctors will likely perform a spinal tap on her mother find out what exactly she had in her system at the time of her disappearance. Kasey says she has no plans to let her mother return to the home she shared with Giambrone because the two would often argue loudly with one another.
Kasey says she finds it strange that Giambrone chose to go shopping for groceries Friday afternoon instead of assisting family members in their search for Susan.
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