Baby Gabriel Update: Hopeful Adoptive Mother, Tammi Smith, Arrested
Tempe police arrested the woman who had hoped to adopt Gabriel Johnson before the 8-month-old went missing more than six weeks ago.
Tammi Smith, 37, was labeled a person of interest by the Tempe Police Department in mid-January after police felt that she and her husband, Jack Smith, were less than forthcoming with information regarding the baby's disappearance.
Today, Tammi Smith was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit custodial interference, custodial interference, and forgery.
Before Gabriel's disappearance, the Smith couple had hoped to adopt the baby, but Gabriel's father, Logan McQueary, didn't want to give up the child.
It was the baby's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, who arranged for the adoption with the Smith's without the consent of McQueary.
When filing paperwork for a possible adoption, Johnson listed a man named Craig Cherry as the father of the baby.
Cherry, however, is related to Tammi Smith and claims to have never met Johnson, making the chances slim of him being the boy's father -- which would put him in a position to give up the child.
Despite custodial interference charges against Smith, it doesn't change the fact that the baby is still missing.
Gabriel Johnson was last seen alive in San Antonio, Texas, in December. Police there have refused to investigate the disappearance as a homicide, despite text-messages from Johnson to McQueary claiming she murdered the baby and put him in the trash.
Police in San Antonio have cordoned off a section of a landfill where the baby's body may be located, haven't yet found any remains.
Anyone with information about Gabriel Johnson's disappearance is asked to call the Tempe Police Department, the San Antonio Police Department, or the FBI.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.