exposing the dark side of adoption
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Arizona Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing After Road Trip; Mom Refuses to Help Police


by Edecio Martinez

SAN ANTONIO (CBS/AP) The car belonging to Elizabeth Johnson, an Arizona mother who allegedly told her ex-boyfriend she'd killed their 8-month-old son, was found Tuesday in Texas, an FBI spokesman said.

But little Gabriel Johnson is still missing.

The missing infant was last seen in San Antonio with his 23-year-old mother of Tempe, Ariz. Authorities say Johnson spent Dec. 22 - 27 at two motels there.

Elizabeth Johnson was arrested last week in Miami Beach on suspicion of custodial interference after she failed to show up for a custody hearing in Phoenix. Authorities say she refuses to say where her son is.

But in an exclusive interview with CBS affiliate KPHO from her jail cell, Johnson said she gave her baby to a Texas couple who were complete strangers.

She said she met them in San Antonio while running away from Arizona. "They approached me and came up to me," she said. "I was alone with the baby at the park."

Johnson said she knows little about the couple. She said she doesn't know their last name, address or phone number. "I trusted them," she said. "I believed in my heart they were good people."

Johnson's white Oldsmobile was found at a San Antonio motel Tuesday. A baby seat and other items were inside, and there were no obvious signs of violence, said FBI spokesman Eric Vasys.

The boy's father, Logan McQueary, said during a Monday interview in Tempe that he had received a text message from Johnson telling him she had killed their son. But McQueary said he had "a feeling" the boy was still alive.

McQueary said Johnson had approached him about giving up his parental rights to Gabriel, saying another couple wanted to adopt him, but McQueary refused her request.

"Is she saying these things to hurt the father or would she actually hurt her own baby?" said Tempe police Sgt. Steve Carbajal. "We don't know yet. We're hoping the baby is in good condition and will be returned safely."

2010 Jan 6