The mother of Baby Gabriel, the eight month old baby boy who was last seen in a motel on I-10 in San Antonio in2009, and whose disappearance sparked a national news story, will be released from prison in Arizona today, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
Elizabeth Johnson's case was made for the tabloids, and from Nancy Grace to America's Most Wanted, they exploited the case for all they could in December of 2009, when the baby vanished while Johnson and the boy's father were in the midst of a major custody dispute.
Johnson told police she gave Gabriel to an unnamed couple she had met on the Internet during a meeting at a local park. But, at the same time, Johnson was texting the baby's father, saying 'I killed him, u will never see Gabriel again, and u can spend the rest of yr pathetic life wondering about him.'
Later, Johnson texted the father, saying she was boarding a plane to leave the country, and she would tell him where Gabriel's body was when she arrived, 'if the garbage doesn't come first.
In reality, Johnson got on a bus in San Antonio and was arrested in Miami. Without a body or even evidence of a murder, she was convicted of custodial interference after a jury in suburban Phoenix was unable to convict her of kidnapping.
Marc Victor, Johnson's lawyer, says his client has matured and is ready to restart her life.
"She is looking forward to getting out," he told Newsradio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board. "She has matured quite a bit, and she wants to do something productive with her life."
Victor says Johnson wants to become a counselor, to help other young, unwed mothers deal with the pain she went through.
As for Gabriel, San Antonio police scoured parks, trash cans, and the landfills, and scoured her motel room, but never found any indication that Gabriel was dead.
"She doesn't know where Gabriel is, she would love to see Gabriel again, but that is all I can say on that point."
Nobody has ever come forward and claimed to be the shadowy 'couple' that Johnson met in a park. If he is alive, Gabriel would be nearly six years old now.
"I've talked to her and suggested that maybe he is with a great family, and maybe it would be in his best interests for her not to find him."