When Robert Lamar Smith failed to appear for his trial on child molestation charges, he left behind a shattered little girl and two of Smith’s brothers-in-law who are afraid they are going to lose their homes.

Even though they have different reasons, Smith’s family and the little girl’s mother agree — they want Smith found.

Smith is charged with aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and three counts of child molestation.

The child’s mother, who is not identified to protect the identity of her daughter, found out about the alleged abuse after her daughter watched a puppet show from Kids on the Block, which educates children on how to protect themselves from child predators.

“She wrote the puppet a letter (about the abuse),” her mother said. “And anytime they see a letter they tell the parents.”

Smith was a family friend who the mother claims has admitted to police he molested her daughter.

“Angry doesn’t even explain how I feel,” the mother said. “I can’t tell you what I think of him.”

The little girl has changed schools and made new friends, her 9-year-old daughter will have to live with this for the rest of her life, her mother said.

“She is so young to understand the things he has done to her, but she will as she matures,” her mother said. “He chose to commit this crime, she did not chose this.”

And the mother worries about her daughter’s safety.

“I’m scared for her to go back to school,” she said. “Anytime I hear something at night I think it’s him.”

She feels guilty that she didn’t see the signs that her daughter was being abused.

“You feel that guilt that you didn’t know what your child is going through,” the mother said. “I had no idea and that’s what made me sick.”

Paul Knight and Billy Rittenhouse, who are married to Smith’s sisters, said they had no idea their brother-in-law would ever be accused of such serious crimes.

Rittenhouse and Knight said Smith knows their families stand to lose their homes if he doesn't return because of a recent phone call Smith made to his mother.

"He told her to tell Paulette and Clara (their wives) he loved them and he hung up the phone," Knight said.

They each had such faith in Smith that they put up bond for him and stand to lose their homes if Smith does not turn himself in or is captured.

“I really didn’t think he done it,” Rittenhouse said. “We felt sorry for his wife and did what we could,” Knight said.

The man they knew was raising a family and supporting the family by working in the carpet industry. Sometimes, Smith would work two jobs.

"If I'd ever had any doubt, I wouldn't take the chance on my kids getting kicked out of their home," Knight said.

Both Knight and Rittenhouse have already lost. Rittenhouse put up $9,000 out of his retirement.

"He'll always be on the run until they find him or I find him," Rittenhouse said. "I won't quit looking for him."

Smith, who according to District Attorney Kermit McManus had no prior criminal history, faces a prison sentence of up to 130 years if convicted on all charges.

Smith drives a 1995 Mustang GT that is dark red or burgundy. The car had a busted windshield.

Anyone with information about Smith and where he may be is asked to call the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 278-3029.

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