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Police search the home of Jack and Tammi Smith in the Gabriel Johnson case

January 15, 2010

A search warrant was served at Tammi and Jack Smith’s home Thursday night in the case of missing 8 month old, Gabriel Johnson.

Tempe, Arizona, police department spokesperson, Mike Horn, would not reveal what detectives were searching for, but it is speculated that they were looking at computers and any travel documents the Smiths’ might have.

A few hours earlier, Tammi Smith had voluntarily talked with Tempe detectives for several hours.  She could be heard saying, “That was rough.” as she left police headquarters.  She admitted to reporters that she played a role in manipulating the paperwork Elizabeth Johnson filed concerning Gabriel.

“I made a poor decision back when I met Elizabeth,” said Smith.  “I helped her (Elizabeth) file her paperwork so she could get her child support and things like that. There was another name put on there and I helped her (Elizabeth) fill out that paperwork, and because of that it obviously doesn’t make me look good. Instead of putting a false name there, I helped her (Elizabeth) put another name.”  (She was referring to the fact that Craig Cherry, her first cousin, was named as a possible father of Gabriel.  Cherry has denied even knowing Elizabeth Johnson.) Tammi said that although they don’t have an attorney, they are now considering calling one.

Smith spoke with Elizabeth in jail on Wednesday.  She said she felt sure that Gabriel was alive after their visit.

“According to Elizabeth, these people are going to try to hide this baby because they believe that in a few years nobody will notice who this baby is.  She did definitely describe the people and what they look like, they’re definitely in San Antonio, she (Elizabeth) did sign paperwork, but they did not notarize it or anything like that.””

Smith said Elizabeth told her that the pair picked the baby up with a new car seat in her hotel room and left. Elizabeth said that the couple didn’t pay for the baby.

Jack Smith said after his inconclusive polygraph, “There is an enormous amount of peace in the truth and the truth is what it is and I can’t fabricate the truth.”

He also said after being named a person of interest in Gabriel’s disappearance,  “We should have been persons of interest from day one,” Jack said. “We are persons of interest. We were probably the last people to see Gabriel before he left town.”

Logan McQueary, Gabriel’s father said that after he flatly refused to sign the paperwork  that allowed the Smiths’ to adopt Gabriel and Elizabeth  disappeared,   “They said basically, if you really care about your son and you want him back, and you want Elizabeth to bring him back, that you’ll sign the paperwork and then she’ll bring him back to us, and you’ll know he’s safe.  And I said, no, I’m not signing any paperwork.”

The Smiths’ say that they were just repeating to him what Elizabeth said after she left with Gabriel.  Tammi said the conversation went more like,

“Let’s do this paperwork, and maybe she’ll tell us where the baby is.  It’s not legal anyway, but does she have to know that? I mean, I’d rather get the baby back and sign the phony papers, but I guess the detectives don’t want us to do that.”

But an entry on Facebook seems to contradict what the Smiths’ are now saying. On  December 23rd, Tammi wrote:

“Please keep praying for Gabriel and his Mommy’s safety on the road!  She has found underground help in TX that has given her formula/diapers, etc. and all the legal formalities… Keep praying for his safety.”

When asked about that statement on Nancy Grace, Smith said,  “At first she mentioned that it was a domestic violence shelter, and she had used the word ‘underground’ maybe once in the conversation.  And instead of saying ‘domestic violence,’ I didn’t want that to make Logan think that he was violent towards her.”

Smith said they were doing everything they can to now reunite Logan with his son.  Logan has publicly begged for the people who have his son to bring him back.  He believes the child is still alive. The police have publicly said also believe the baby is alive.

The Smiths’ have a surprising defender in Elizabeth Johnson’s grandfather, Bob Johnson.  He doesn’t believe that Elizabeth is telling the truth, but he also doesn’t believe the Smiths’  had anything to do with Gabriel’s disappearance.

“That’s ridiculous… no, God, no,” he said.

Elizabeth’s twin brother, Robert Johnson, said he doesn’t believe his sister’s story either, but that he supports her.

“She’s stubborn and hard headed. If she doesn’t want Logan to have the baby, she will do everything she can to keep Gabriel from Logan.”

Anyone with information about Gabriel can call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP or online at

You can read the full story here:

Well.  I don’t know what to think.  Is Tammi Smith her own worst enemy here?  Are her attempts to defend herself digging the hole she’s sinking in deeper?

The more information that comes out about the Smiths’, the more it seems they could have been capable of helping Tammi make Gabriel “disappear”.  But, I have to say, though I think the surface evidence paints that picture, (and that may well have been the Smiths’ original intent),  I’m not so sure it’s as cut and dried as that now, and this is one of the reasons why.  Elizabeth, according to Tammi, told her that the people who have the baby are going to take him underground for a few years so he won’t be so recognizable later.  Why would Tammi say something like that if it were true that she was helping to hide Gabriel?  It doesn’t make sense.  It would set them up to be watched by police  to see if they “adopt” a child down the road.  No, the Smiths’ could not possibly think, at this point, that they would ever be able to have Gabriel without being found out–2 years down the road or 10 years down the road.   So, if they can’t have Gabriel why would they continue  to keep him hidden?  It can’t be because they fear for his life at the hands of his dad, Logan.  They now know the truth about Logan and the truth about Elizabeth. (her violent outbursts when she tore up Logan’s apartment, ripped his clothes up with a knife, falsely accused him of stealing the baby, threatening the baby’s life, etc.)  The only reason they would have now for keeping Gabriel hidden would be if they are afraid of the consequences over their involvement, IMO.

I think Tammy’s Facebook entry is the most promising thing to come out so far. It’s the first indication I’ve seen that gives real hope that Gabriel was not killed by Elizabeth and that the Smiths’ have knowledge of where that baby might be. (As far as I know, the video that Elizabeth claims exists of the people with the baby has not been verified as true by police) The FB comment is also very troubling in that Tammi stated this mysterious  “underground” was helping Elizabeth with “all the legal formalities.”  What legal formalities??  Were they forging documents to have him adopted or to show he belonged to someone when they took him to the doctor,  or worse were they making the necessary arrangements to have him slipped out of the country? San Antonio is only about 150 miles north of the Mexican border.

(An aside:  didn’t Mark Klaas say earlier on NG that it’s possible that the people that have Gabriel may take him underground until he is older and less recognizable?  Now Elizabeth is saying the same thing.  hmmmm)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Spacely permalink
    January 15, 2010 11:33 am

    I am not positive that Elizabeth has actually said anything about the underground, that seems to all be coming from the Smiths as re-tellings of things she said. I could be wrong because there is an awful lot of articles out there and it is not clear to me if anyone else is reporting that Elizabeth said that, just that she gave the child to a couple in San Antonio.

    I also don’t understand why Tammi feels the need to blab these conversations to the press prior to discussing them with police. She is not helping herself in any way and if the things she says are true, she may even be endangering Gabriel by letting this mystery couple know that Elizabeth is cracking and giving up info. At one point, she tells the press she needs to talk to the police first, but she has revealed so much info at that point, it’s a closing the barn door after the horse escaped scenario.

    Or maybe George and Cindy have hardened my heart against people who take to the spotlight in the midst of a tragedy.

  2. itsamysterytome permalink*
    January 15, 2010 1:08 pm

    I don’t know if Elizabeth has said anything about the underground either, Spacely.
    Just that Tammi supposedly posted that on FB on the 23rd of December and then what Tammi said on Nancy Grace. Is Tammi making all this stuff up? I don’t know. If she is, maybe they should be looking at her mental state as well as Elizabeth’s.

    Tammi Smith reminds me very much of Cindy. She appears to need to be in control of this situation.

  3. nashville permalink
    January 18, 2010 10:56 pm

    I knew Tammi in Nashville. Back in 1998. We worked together. Unfortureatly, we worked in a house of prostetution, outside of Nashville. I have reformed but it lookes like Tammi has lost it.

  4. January 18, 2010 10:59 pm

    I knew Tammi in Nashville, back in 1998. We worked together. Unfortuneately, it was a house of prostetution, I have since got a life but looks like Tammi has lost it.

  5. Mike Sakal permalink
    January 29, 2010 7:50 pm

    Hi Nashville –

    I am a news reporter at the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Arizona, covering the story about missing Baby Gabriel Johnson.

    Please email me at

    Thank you.

  6. itsamysterytome permalink*
    January 30, 2010 8:07 am


    How do you know that Tammi is a prostitute? That’s a serious statement to make and not back up with proof. Can you prove your claim?

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