Friday, April 23 2010. Alleged father of missing baby Gabriel Johnson, Logan McQueary, appeared on the Today show this morning with his attorney Timothy Maloney. The show recapped Gabriel’s story, in its old form, while showing video clips- some of the story has since become defunct. McQueary talked about Gabriel’s mother, Elizabeth Johnson. His attorney talked about Jack and Tammi Smith, who had once hoped to adopt Gabriel, who will turn one year old on May 3. The show ended with McQueary making a plea.
The story in brief is that Johnson ran away with then-eight-month-old Gabriel on December 18, from Tempe Arizona to San Antonio Texas- the day after a judge declared McQueary to be Gabriel’s natural father without ordering the paternity test filed for by Johnson on December 14. Gabriel was last seen with her on the day after Christmas in 2009.
On December 27, during their cell-phone communications, Johnson sent a text message to McQueary saying she had killed their son. She then called the Smiths and told them that she and the baby were fine. Tammi Smith said in an interview that she could hear the baby gurgling in the background. However, McQueary called the police. Johnson was arrested in Florida on December 30. Since her arrest, she has consistently told the FBI and the Tempe Police Department one story- that she gave away Gabriel to a couple in a park. A landfill search has turned up no signs of homicide.
Wearing a blue shirt identical to the one he wore to court on March 26 when a judge awarded him permanent full custody of Gabriel and when Johnson used her right to invoke the Fifth Amendment to remain silent, McQueary spoke about his relationship with Johnson.
According to McQueary, Johnson was upset because he had broken up with her. “She really didn’t like it that we had broken up. She had thought I was trying to take him [Gabriel] away from her. But actually, I wasn’t. We were both fine with the shared custody. And I don’t understand why she had left like she did.” Yet, according to a court document dated December 11 2009, McQueary had filed for full custody of Gabriel, allegedly with no visitation rights for Johnson.
McQueary also talked, in his usual monotone, about his roller coaster relationship with Johnson, which he claimed ‘was pretty normal for her’. He mentioned ‘ups and downs’. “To tell you the truth,” he said, ” there were ‘good times and bad times’. He said she would get ‘really mad for no reason’. According to Johnson, however, in her exclusive jailhouse phone interview with CBS5 affiliate KPHO, McQueary ‘is a felon’ and ‘lives with his father’. And ‘he has ruined my life’. According to court documents, McQueary has a criminal record, dating from 2004, of drug abuse and burglary.
According to the Jack and Tammi Smith, they constantly urged Johnson to return with Gabriel to Arizona. There are e-mails and phone conversations to support their claim. When McQueary’s attorney, Maloney, brought up the Smiths, he claimed that Tammi Smith had committed ‘Custodial Interference’ because she had tried to get Johnson to change jurisdiction. Yet, that charge was dropped soon after it was made, in February, due to lack of evidence. The other charges on Tammi Smith that are still ‘live’ are- ‘Conspiracy to Commit Custodial Interference’ as well as ‘Forgery’ based on a request by Johnson just as the courthouse was closing for a second name to go on the Paternity Petition, otherwise, the judge would not grant a paternity test for McQueary. Tammi Smith filled in a cousin’s name. The parentage testing was never granted anyway.
The jurisdiction change mentioned by Maloney was sought so that Johnson would not get into trouble for missing the scheduled custodial hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona on December 28. The distance was too far for her to make it back from Texas in time. However, a jurisdiction change was not possible. Johnson missed the meeting; McQueary was awarded temporary full custody. The judge issued a warrant on Johnson. According to Johnson in her jailhouse interview, she was afraid to return because McQueary had told her that she would be arrested on kidnapping charges.
When asked on the Today show what he wanted to say ‘about your boy and what you’ve been going through’, McQueary said he’d just been ‘going through a lot’. The link for the complete interview is at the end of this article With his usual poker face, McQueary said that his message to whoever has Gabriel is the ‘same thing as always’ and made his usual plea, “I want my son more than anything… they can drop him off at a church, at a hospital, a fire station, anywhere. I just want my son back.”
Maloney, who reportedly flew from Texas to Arizona for the Today interview, said on Today that he believes there was a conspiracy, ‘formulated here in Phoenix’ and that Gabriel Johnson was taken out of the country. He blames the Smiths for the baby’s disappearance. However, Law Enforcement (LE) have stated several times that they no longer believe the Smiths know where Gabriel Johnson is. This belief came after giving the Smiths polygraphs, searching the Smiths’ home, and intensive interrogations of Tammi Smith, who was arrested and is out on bail-her husband paid 10% of the $15,000 bond and used their home as collateral for the remaining money owed to a bail bondsman.
On the Today show, it was stated that Johnson still refuses to cooperate with the police. While Law Enforcement had once claimed that, they have since stated otherwise. As McQueary’s Private Investigator, Ken Gamble, has stated in a KPHO interview- Johnson has cooperated with LE. “She’s made full admissions to police,” said Gamble. “At this stage, some of that information we can’t discuss because it’s still under investigation.”
Every story has many sides, many personal perspectives. Since her jailhouse interview in January, Elizabeth Johnson- who was considered emotionally disturbed according to her arrest document- has not had a voice. Nor have had the Smiths since their attorney, Michael Kimerer, asked them to remain silent. And since the court issued a gag order. Thus, more aspects to the convoluted story have yet to come out.
McQueary started a website last night called Baby Gabriel Foundation. While he continues to fundraise to fund his search for Gabriel, Crime Stoppers in San Antonio offers a monetary reward. They will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals in the Gabriel Johnson case. The reward does not involve tax dollars. Rewards are paid from court-ordered probation fees from those convicted of crimes. Call 210-224-STOP (7867) or click here to submit your tip online. Or text a tip to 274637: Tip 127 plus the tip.
KPHO:’Baby Gabriel’s Mom Speaks with CBS News 5′;
(jailhouse interview w/Elizabeth Johnson);
Today:’Search for Baby Gabriel Continues’
(April 23, 2010 interview Logan McQueary);
KPHO:’Tammi and Jack Smith Speak Outside Jail’;
KPHO:’Logan McQueary at Custody Hearing’;
KPHO:’Tammi Smith at Fourth Avenue Jail’;
KPHO:’Baby Gabriel Is Alive, PI Says’;
CNN:’Phoenix Mom Refuses to Talk About Missing 8-Month-Old’;
Elizabeth Questioned Logan’s Paternity as Document Shows;
Elizabeth Johnson Shocker: She Agreed to Return Home w/ Gabriel;
Missing Baby Gabriel Mom Elizabeth Johnson Directive, “I Don’t Want an Autopsy.”;
Elizabeth Johnson Suicide Risk- Began Hunger Strike 7 Days Before Nutraloaf Punishment;
Elizabeth Johnson’s Bombshell Admission to Tammi Smith About Baby Gabriel Paternity;
Logan McQueary Cleared Out Trailer Owned by Baby Gabriel Mom, Elizabeth Johnson;
Logan McQueary Wins Custody of Baby Gabriel: Mom Elizabeth Johnson Cries Heartbreak Tears;
Elizabeth Johnson Has a Story to Tell; Why She Doesn’t Want Logan to Have Baby Gabriel;
Missing Baby Gabriel: $Donations Go to Search; Background Checks Cost Money, Says McQueary;
What’s with Jack & Tammi Smith? All They Want to Do is Find Missing Baby Gabriel Johnson?;
Missing Baby Gabriel Johnson | Timeline: January 5-February 9, 2010;
Missing Baby Gabriel Johnson | Timeline: December 8-30, 2009;