Baby Gabriel's mom out of prison

Elizabeth Johnson released from Arizona jail Friday; Baby Gabriel never found


Phoenix, AZ - Elizabeth Johnson is out of prison, but questions still remain in the disappearance of her son, Gabriel Johnson.


Elizabeth Johnson was released from the Perryville Prison just a few minutes after midnight Friday, walking out of the prison wearing a gray T-shirt and jeans and her hair pulled back, no longer sporting the blond hair she had during her trial.

Johnson got into a black Range Rover that was driven off the prison grounds by her attorney, Mark Victor.

In 2012, an Arizona jury found her guilty of conspiracy to commit custodial interference, custodial interference and unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of her 8-month-old son.

Despite joint custody with the boy's father, she fled with their son to Texas. She first said she killed her son but later told authorities she gave him away to a couple in a San Antonio park.

She spent four and a half years behind bars for her part in his disappearance in December 2009. Gabriel has never been found.

Elizabeth Johnson never gave authorities or Gabriel's father, Logan McQueary, any information that could help lead to the missing boy.

On the eve of her release, her attorney Mark Victor said Elizabeth Johnson is a changed woman.

"I think from the day that I met Elizabeth to the day she gets released tomorrow, she has changed dramatically," Victor said. "She's almost a different person. It's true she certainly wasn't prepared for the national attention that she got and not only was it national attention, some people get national attention and it's positive, hers wasn't."

There were more people involved in the case who played large roles in making it one of the most highly publicized missing person's cases in recent Arizona history.

Tammi and Jack Smith wanted to adopt baby Gabriel.

Tammi Smith was convicted of forgery and conspiracy for her part in trying to gain custody of Gabriel.

She served 30 days in jail and remains on probation.

Her husband, who stood by her and proclaimed her innocence, died in a car crash Monday.

Another key figure in the case was San Antonio homicide Detective Jesse Salame.

He conducted an illegal jailhouse interview with Johnson, during which she reportedly confessed to killing her baby.

That alleged confession was not allowed in court. Salame has since been promoted to sergeant with the San Antonio Police Department.


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