Baby Gabriel update: Elizabeth Johnson to be freed from prison Friday

PHOENIX - Elizabeth Johnson, whose infant son vanished in 2009 is scheduled to be released from an Arizona prison on Friday morning.

Johnson will be released from Perryville prison in Goodyear after spending less than five years in jail.

In 2012, Johnson avoided what could have been a lengthy prison term of more than 20 years after a jury failed to reach a verdict on the most serious charge against her, kidnapping, instead convicting her of a lesser count of unlawful imprisonment.

Johnson is looking forward to rejoining society and has plans to help single mothers in need, her attorney said.

The 27-year-old will be released and placed under supervision of the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department.

Her then 8-month-old son was last seen on Dec. 26, 2009, at a hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Authorities said Johnson told Gabriel's father that she killed the boy and dumped him in a trash bin there. But authorities said she later recanted and told police she gave the baby to a couple at a San Antonio park. She never provided the couple's names.

Read more about Baby Gabriel here

Johnson’s grandfather, Bob Johnson, past away a month before her release. He raised Elizabeth and they were reportedly very close.

In another strange turn of events, the man who wanted to adopt Gabriel has also died. Payson police say they are investigating Jack Smith’s death as suspicious.

We’re told on July 7th Smith was involved in a single vehicle roll over crash.

He was taken to the hospital then released.

The next morning, his wife Tammi called 911 claiming her husband was having a seizure.

Jack Smith was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Payson is waiting on an autopsy report and toxicology report to come back. They wouldn’t comment any further on the investigation.


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