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PI Jay J. Armes offers hope in the search for baby Gabriel Johnson

February 3, 2010

The search for baby Gabriel Johnson was ramped up a notch this week with the announcement by  PI Extraordinaire, Jay J. Armes,  that he will be taking on the case.   Unlike another unnamed  PI we know who has never found a baby, but as flamboyant as bounty hunter, Leonard Padilla, in the infamous Caylee Anthony murder, Armes brings 40 years of experience and thousands of previously worked cases  (including the recovery of over 100 missing children) to the table.  Armes has also enlisted the help of 3 other well-known investigators, California based, Logan Clark,  and two Texas based PI’s, Ralph Thomas and Bill Dear. Together, these 4 private investigators bring 135 years of experience to the table.  With police in San Antonio planning a search for Gabriel’s body in a landfill this week, and police in Tempe stating that their expectations of finding Gabriel, dead or alive, are fading away, Armes offers a glimmer of hope.  He plans on meeting with Logan McQueary, Gabriel’s father, sometime today. (Wednesday) Logan announced earlier that he would be retracing Elizabeth Johnson’s, (Gabriel’s mother), steps  to try and find something the police may have overlooked.

If anyone can find Gabriel,  Jay J. Armes can.  Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, he lost both his hands in an explosion when he was 12.  Using two alloy steel prosthesis, (hooks) he can perform virtually any task that can be performed with a human hand, including shooting a gun.  He has used his lack of hands as motivation to work harder and excel in every area of his life.  His trademark hooks have made him instantly identifiable by those working with him–and against him, and his reputation as a modern day James Bond, is known around the world.  He even has an action figure doll modeled after him.

According to his biography at his website: , Armes’ client list has included such well known celebrities as Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Howard Hughes,  and miscellaneous royalty from around the world. His most famous case was the kidnapping of Marlon Brando’s  son, Christian,  in the 70’s.

He is considered the best of the best in investigative circles, and easily commands fees of  $150,000 to $1,000,000 per case.  He has announced he will look for Gabriel, free of charge.

Armes spoke from his home base, El Paso, Texas saying, “I feel that this baby is still alive.”  He will focus on the world of underground adoptions  which he says are often run by religious radicals, and baby brokers.

“They’ll say, ‘Those people don’t deserve this child.’ So they’ll sell it to someone who has the means to take care of this child.”

He says Gabriel’s case is similar to dozens he has worked on, and it is very common for babies to be transported into Mexico.

“They sell the kids in Mexico,” said Armes.  ” Traffickers get ‘$25,000 and up for a kid.”

His take on Jack and Tammi Smith?  “It’s odd that the Smiths [tried to] adopt a child who then becomes missing.”

Tammi Smith mug shot

Tammi Smith, 37, of Scottsdale, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit custodial interference, custodial interference, and forgery, all felonies, Tempe police announced Tuesday. These charges are based on her early attempts to secure custody of Gabriel.

In a press conference Tuesday, Tempe police Lt. Mike Horn said in regards to the charges that  they believe Tammi Smith was working on or had already created a plan to get Logan McQueary out of the picture so they could adopt Gabriel, and withheld information that could have led them to the baby. Horn said that it is their belief that the Smiths were planning for Elizabeth Johnson, Gabriel’s mother, to eventually make her way to Tennessee with him, where the couple could eventually take custody.

“We are less and less optimistic that Gabriel is still alive,” Horn said.

Tammi Smith was released from jail early this morning on a $15,000 bond.  Her husband, Jack, is no longer considered a person of interest, and police do not believe the Smiths’ know where Gabriel is now.

Tammi Smith has a checkered past with numerous run-ins with the law.  This includes two arrests for forgery in 1998 and in 2001, disturbing the peace and CRIMINAL NEGLECT OF FAMILY, all in Louisiana, also according to the court document. (Guess that explains why she might have been looking for an “unconventional” way to adopt a baby!)

Jack Smith said he is “mad” about his wife’s recent arrest, that Tammi and he have done nothing wrong, and that there will be a “day of reckoning.”

“We have been bullied, and I’m tired,” he said. “They’ve thrown the gauntlet down. We’ve done nothing, so how could there be a conspiracy? Police are trumping up these stupid and idiotic charges, and they have no proof. They can’t connect dots A and B, much less B and C.”

“We’ve done nothing but try to help enlist in this fight to get that girl and the baby back here after she took off, and to find the child.”

Upon her release from jail, the never at a loss for words, Smith said she, “would spend the rest of her life looking for this baby until he is found.”

read about it here:

Jay J Arnes:

Logan McQueary searches for his son:

Tammi Smith released from jail:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. niecey456 permalink
    February 3, 2010 3:19 pm

    Hey Mystery! Thank you for such a wonderful write up. I’m feeling much better about this case now. I know the police are down and out about it, but I think PI Armes could be right and he apparently has the resources to work this angle. I pray he’s right and Baby Gabriel is alive and well. I’m still praying that Elizabeth is not as cold as Casey. I do believe she’s cold, but I hope she sold him. She was somehow sporting around some cash.

  2. Hadley permalink
    February 3, 2010 7:00 pm

    I am thrilled that Jay J. Armes has offered to help find little Gabriel! He is THE BEST, and I think he will find Gabriel. He gives me new hope.

    I still believe Tammi Smith knows where Gabriel is.

  3. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 3, 2010 10:09 pm


    I agree. I think if anyone can find Gabriel alive it will be this guy. But, sadly, I think they should go ahead and search the landfill.

  4. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 3, 2010 10:10 pm


    I’m starting to think that Tammi doesn’t know where Gabriel is. I think hers was a plan that went terribly awry.

  5. Angelsneed permalink
    February 28, 2010 2:12 am

    Tammi has the typical look mix selfish with obsession equal pain in the neck!! Actually she is worst than Gabriel’s mother !! Because when they met each other Elizabeth was hopless and confused! And then she was guide to did steps in favor to whom? To Tammi!! Even left Gabriel with the Smiths! Could she connected her to underground adoptation people? why not? Clues: She has same experience in her past with son in law, hiren the process to adopted his daugther in favor to whom? To Tammi! And she still wants to keep open her mouth against to Logan ! Sound so suspicius !! if She and her husband really didn’t know about where Gabriel be? the natural behiavor will look very cooperative and forgiven to Logan and not such rude lilke and quote” I’m look all my life for Gabriel even he will be with Logan” that is such scarry statment!! It sound like a hunter ,doesn’t it? I hope mr Jay can see with his gift something in This strange couple that help him to lead the case!! And in the end all the things fall in their place!! From my deep feeling to a possitive end!! A big hope to Logan and family for recovery Baby Gabriel healthy and peacefully !!!!!!!!!!

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