Thursday, January 21, 2010

Something’s Not Right: Baby Gabriel Johnson

By Sheryl McCollum

No one has seen baby Gabriel Johnson for a month.  This fact alone lowers my hope that he is alive.  I said on the Nancy Grace Show, that no one innocent has him.  If a couple existed who believed they had been given a baby rightfully, and later found out the child was involved in a custody battle, they would have turned him over by now.

Other disturbing facts:

The mother abandons her car with the child’s car seat left inside.  Wouldn’t the new parents need the car seat? 

The mother leaves her car behind in Texas.  Why would you leave your car?  Maybe you don’t want to be identified by it.  Maybe you are going to yet another state to start over with a new identity.

The mother sold her pets, jewelry, and took on a roommate for the cash.  Sounds like she was planning on running. 

The mother had about $500 on her at the time of her arrest.  Not a lot of money for someone who just sold a baby. 

The babysitter was a stranger, she did not try to give the baby to her.  Why not?  Because she had a plan.  The key here is the two hour period the sitter had him and the mother was out.  Her actions are key.  Her whereabouts are key.  This timeline must be filled in.  Texas is the key to where Gabriel is.  This is where he was last seen alive.  This is where mother left is on a bus without him.

Everyone wants him to be found alive.  But, everyone also knows something’s not right with this story.

Once you wrap your mind around the facts there is another twist in this case.  The couple named Smith.  They say they met Gabriel’s mother in an airport and wanted to adopt him.  What?  A women that you knew for nine hours.  Crazy, but there’s more.  They talked with her before she fled.  They told her, “You can’t run forever.”  Sounds like they may have known she was going to run but never called the police.  They have taken a polygraph.  Both the husband and wife’s test were inconclusive!  Then, the police served a search warrant on their home.  This couple has not been shy around the media.  They have appeared on numerous TV shows telling their side of the story and stating they do not know where Gabriel is.  Still something not right with their story.

The mother is not cooperating with the police.  She will not provide police with a sketch of the couple she says she gave the baby to.  She will not tell the child's whereabouts.  This again is a danger sign to me.  In jail is when you make a deal.  She could cut a deal by telling the child’s location – if he’s alive that is.

Still there are other concerns: her grandfather said she has been known to have fits of “rage.”  She told the child’s father she killed him!  She gave details about the murder such as how she did it and how she disposed of his body.  This is the only time she has been detailed about anything.  She was vague about where she was going to the babysitter.  She was vague about the couple to whom she gave him in Texas.  She was vague about her plans with the Smiths. But she was very clear on what happened to Gabriel. 

I will continue to pray for his safe return.  I would love to be wrong!

Sheryl McCollum, MS
Cold Case Investigative Research Institute 


  1. First of all, not everyone has heard of this case. It seems like they should, but daily I talk to people about it and they have no idea.

    2. If there is an adoptive family that has him, they may not be aware or they are being told by the adoption professional that all is legal, lay low. The family would more then likely follow the advice of the adoption professional because that adoption professional holds their future in their hands, or that is the way it seems to the adoptive couple. Meaning, if they disrupt this placement they may be black-booked in the adoption world. Paperwork eventually should be filed, but,,,,,,,,there are plenty of unethical adoption professional out there and it goes unnoticed that they work with other adoption professionals and may send baby over state line to circumvent the laws. Happens often.

    3. New parents could very likely bring their own new car seat,,,,if they weren't flying. Baby under 2 can fly on parents lap, therefore they might need car seat.

    4. Mother never intended on raising baby. She already made that clear. Also mom was abandoned, probably had attachment issues from lack of bond by druggie for parents, in and out of foster homes and never got the help she needed, therefore she never bonded with baby.

    5. Going to Texas, a state that it is legal to not name birthdad esp when he was not named on orginal birth certificate, and she could sign consent to place baby without his interference. Lots of expecant moms are housed by adoption professionals in the hotels where mom stayed.

    6. She allowed babysitter to babysit for her baby,,what choice did she have but hire a stranger, and remember, she didn't have a bond with baby. Babysitter makes a poor witness,,,too many holes in her remarks.

    7. She spent alot of money along the way. She probably was only paid $1500 in expenses. She wasn't pg, baby was 8 months old therefore the expenses wouldn't be justified. She probably was paid back for travel expenses, hotel, food, babysitter etc.....

    8.There are three adoption agencys all in that area of the hotel. Two hours was enough time to meet with adoption professional and choose a new family.

    9. The SMiths are knee deep in this case and have lied a few times. They wanted the baby and they were well versed in adoption, and also had a very good friend who worked in adoption. My belief is mom was to go to TX, sign over baby with adoption professional of the Smiths choice, but dad filed for custody and was fighting for his rights in AZ, the smiths were then unable to get involved? Still out on that one.

    10. Handing baby over in a park is not too far fetched to me,,she could have handed him over to the adoption professional or the family. Whether it was the park or hotel room, not sure, but getting no details about the family,,,she wanted closed, she kept stating that in the interview she did from the jail for CBS. In her mind she was doing an adoption which in her mind was legal because she was outside the juridiction of AZ AND the full custody had not come down yet, therefore she thought she had the power to place.

    11. Seems she is still wanting revenge on dad therefore she is not speaking of where baby is??

  2. I agree that if EJ had give Gabriel to a couple in the park, ( or hotel room as the story changed )I think they would have come forward by now, but If Gabriel is with someone known to the smiths, I dont believe they would come forward, I base this on the Smiths past records, I have an issue as to how they got Hannah, The father who is the step-son of jack smith has reported that he was never notified of smiths going to court, and that the smiths manipulated the system, I from day one of seeing them, said they are not telling the truth, this was my gut feeling. The truth will come out, and I do believe there will be more arrests involving this case.

  3. It's a very disturbing case. I fear he maybe dead. Did she have a cell phone? If so the police must have looked at the tower pings. Was there an Amber Alert sent out?

    I wouldn't believe a words she says. You're right the time line needs filling in. When was the last time anyone saw her with the baby?

    I was struck by her attitude it reminded me of another mother Casey Anthony.

  4. My feeling is this:

    Does not fit that EJ gave Gabriel to strangers in park or room, Why, Because I am sure they would have come forward by now.

    Underground: Possibly, who knows what lies they have been told, and are hiding him.

    If Gabriel is still alive, Someone is hiding him, for sure then she did have help. Enter the Smith's, Who goes up to someone in an airport and asks "what do you want to do with your baby".
    Too many contradictions by TS, an inconclusive lie detector test, excuse, tired, we love him, etc, the short time they had him, compared to parents whose children have been murdered, and passed their lie detector tests, who I am sure got no sleep and were in a horrible emotional state, something goofy here, plus the lies.

    In conclusion I do believe both EJ and TS Know were, what, how, and are not talking, but I am a believer that the truth will always come out.

  5. Here's hoping Ms. McCollum will post a follow-up to this bizarre case, because since this originally appeared, Tammi Peters Smith has been arrested and charged for "forgery" (of a legal document regarding Gabriel's paternity) and "conspiracy to commit custodial interference." Elizabeth remains in jail, claiming to know nothing more of the couple to whom she reportedly gave her child, although Tammi glibly offered numerous additional details regarding Elizabeth's interactions with them (until she lawyered up, that is.)

    Most recently, the courts have reversed an earlier opinion about Elizabeth being incompetent, and Tammi is reportedly seeking a plea deal (presumably to spare her the rigors of trial, since she reportedly has acquired a new baby, who some say was produced at her request by her husband Jack's daughter Nicki Blank... with an "unknown" father, presumably, to ensure that no Logan or Travis problems arise this time.)

    Logan McQueary has been deprived of his son for 8 long months now. Gabriel has been deprived of his daddy for more than half his life by now. It's time for the truth to come out!


  7. TAMMI PETERS SMITH: You know, from what I know of her, I don`t believe so. But I`ve only known her maybe three or four weeks.(CNN Transcript Nancy Grace)

    Smith said she and her husband spent seven months trying to adopt Gabriel and that his parents wanted to give him up at different times. Johnson and McQueary never seemed to be on the same page, she said. (AZ Central article)

    Which is it? You have known her for 3-4 weeks or you have been trying to adopt him for 7 months?

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