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Baby Gabriel Johnson's Father Retraces Elizabeth Johnson's Steps, Hopes to Find Son Alive


by Carlin DeGuerin Miller

PHOENIX (CBS/KPHO) The father of baby Gabriel Johnson set out Tuesday on a cross-country trip to find his missing 8-month-old son, and says he still holds out hope that he will find him alive.

Using tips off the Internet, a GPS and even psychics, Logan McQueary and his family have worked tirelessly to piece together the route they believe the child's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, took last December from Phoenix to Miami, where she was arrested on charges of kidnapping.

The walls of their hotel room in Tempe are plastered with highway maps and just about everyone is working a laptop, a printer or a cell phone. One cousin flew in from Egypt to help, according to CBS affiliate KPHO who was with the family as they geared up for their trip.

But their task is made harder by the fact that Elizabeth Johnson is the only one who knows where she stopped and who she met on the way - and Elizabeth Johnson is not talking.

"I wish she would tell Logan the truth -- all of us the truth -- but we'll find Gabriel without her if that's what we have to do," Sandy Peters, Gabriel's great aunt, told KPHO.

Gabriel did not make it all the way to Miami with his mother and now investigators from Arizona and Texas are trying to figure out what happened to him. Elizabeth made two contradictory statements before refusing to talk at all, one saying that she killed baby Gabriel and the other that she gave him to strangers in San Antonio. He was last seen Dec. 26, 2009.

Tammi Smith, who, along with her husband Jack, had been aggressively trying to adopt Gabriel before he disappeared, has been arrested and charged with custodial interference, among other charges. When he heard the news McQueary was thrilled and said it was a long time coming, but it hasn't deterred him in his quest to find his son.

McQueary made his first stop in Tucson, where there were reports that Elizabeth was seen checking into a local motel.

"We got several tips … talking about a Mountain View or Mountain Inn Hotel," McQueary told KPHO. "This is the only one we could find and track down. We decided … it's worth checking out along the way."

The motel led to a women's shelter, then to a bowling alley, then to another women's shelter, but so far hasn't led to baby Gabriel.

At each location, the family left fliers with photos of the missing boy.

2010 Feb 3