Baby Gabriel Still Alive, Mom Tells ABC From Jail

Elizabeth Johnson tells ABC News Gabriel is alive, jail not that bad.

ByABC News via logo
January 6, 2010, 7:56 AM

Jan. 13, 2010— -- Elizabeth Johnson, the Arizona mother jailed after she disappeared with her about-to-be-adopted infant son, confirmed today in a brief jailhouse interview that 8-month-old Gabriel Johnson is alive.

Johnson, a striking 23-year-old, has been jailed following her arrest on kidnapping and child abuse charges after Gabriel disappeared on her cross country trip in which she allegedly sent text messages to the boy's biological father that she had killed their son.

"Yes I'm sure he's alive," Johnson confirmed today.

She was being visited by Tammi Smith, who, along with her husband Jack Smith, say they were in talks with Johnson to adopt Gabriel before he disappeared. The Smiths have been named persons of interest by Tempe, Ariz., police for potentially withholding information about the case.

The Smiths have stuck by Johnson, but recently told ABC News that they are frustrated and want Johnson to tell police what she did with the baby. Tammi Smith told Johnson in jail that she and her husband have been blamed for Gabriel's disappearance.

"I am so, so sorry about that," Johnson replied. But still, no word on where Gabriel is.

Johnson told a Phoenix CBS affiliate shortly after her Dec. 29 arrest in Miami Beach that she gave Gabriel to a couple she met in a San Antonio, Texas, park, but that she didn't know anything about them, only that they seemed trustworthy.

An ABC producer was with Smith inside the prison Wednesday as the mother offered new details about the couple.

Johnson said the couple is Caucasian, in their 30s. The man is tall with short black hair, and the woman is about 5 feet, 3 inches tall and has long blonde hair.

Johnson said the couple brought their own car seat and that they said they could keep baby Gabriel without anyone noticing.