There is a renewed effort in the "Baby Gabriel" case led by his father, Logan McQueary.
"I want to believe that he's out there and he's alive and well somewhere. I want to find him, and I want him to be a part of my family," says Logan McQueary, father of Gabriel Johnson.
Johnson says he is tired of getting the runaround from police. He is now working with Project Absentis, a non-profit run by former and retired FBI agents specializing in missing persons cases.
"They're just pretty much starting from the beginning and just going through everything, phone records and seeing just what the new pair of eyes, seeing what they can come up with," says McQueary.
Those new pair of eyes coming after 12 years. "Baby Gabriel" left Tempe with his mother Elizabeth Johnson in December 2009. He was last seen in San Antonio and has been missing ever since. In recent years, there has been some miscommunication as to who the lead agency is on the case.
"We call San Antonio and they say that they're not really the lead on the case, that we're supposed to send the tips to Tempe. Then we call Tempe and they say our case is closed and we're supposed to send to San Antonio."
ABC15 reached out to both departments. Tempe Police say since Gabriel Johnson was seen alive in San Antonio -- they handed off the investigation. On the other hand, SAPD points to Tempe since they were the agency that entered the missing person's report.
"Honestly, we don't know what the San Antonio police have done. I mean, there's a lot of police officers, a lot of FBI that I'm going to thank, that they have did a lot of work on it, but I don't think San Antonio... I think they dropped the ball in a lot of areas. That's where we're trying to kind of pick it up and see where they are and what they looked at, what they haven't looked at," says McQueary.
McQueary now has three other children but will never lose hope in finding his firstborn. He hopes the public will share his story.
"There's our family, plus Gabriel, so our family is kind of complete with it," says McQueary, while pointing at an illustrated photo.
Gabriel's father has started an online fundraiser to help with the costs of working with the retired FBI agents. To help, visit the GoFundMe here.
Tempe Police have released the following statement:
The Tempe Police Department has concluded its investigation into the crimes committed by Elizabeth Johnson that occurred in Arizona. We can prove that Gabriel Johnson was last seen on surveillance video and by witnesses in San Antonio, TX. Further, we have evidence to show that Elizabeth left San Antonio on a bus for Miami, FL alone. Based on this information the missing person case related to Gabriel was transferred to the San Antonio Police Department in January, 2010. To that point, San Antonio Pd completed an extensive landfill search for the missing child
All tips and information we receive, outside of our general area, were sent to the San Antonio Police Department to assist them with their investigation. We have continued to send any and all tips to SAPD over the past 11 plus years. The Tempe Police Department was the lead agency into Gabriel’s disappearance until it was confirmed that he was seen alive in San Antonio, TX. At that point we notified and met with members of the San Antonio Police Department to hand off the investigation. It would be inefficient and ineffective for Tempe Police Detectives to conduct a missing person investigation over 1,000 miles outside of our city. It was understood by both Tempe and San Antonio Detectives and personnel that San Antonio PD was the lead agency regarding the missing child case. The Tempe Police Departments has been and remains willing and able to assist San Antonio with the investigation as needed, specific to elements in Arizona.
San Antonio Police have released the following statement:
“For the last decade and beyond, the San Antonio Police Department has continued to follow up on tangible leads into the whereabouts of baby Gabriel Johnson. While we are aware family has been given conflicting information as to the status of the missing persons case locally, the Department does, in fact, have an active missing persons case for baby Gabriel. After further research into the miscommunication, it was determined that there was a misunderstanding surrounding the term “entering agency.” The individual in Missing Persons with whom the family recently spoke intended to communicate that the Tempe Police Department was the entering agency, meaning they entered baby Gabriel into the National Crime Information Center’s Missing Persons Database and they are the ones who initiated the missing persons report. This does not impact the Department’s vigorous investigation into baby Gabriel’s whereabouts. To be clear, the San Antonio Police Department still receives all tips from NCIC. Since October of 2020, the San Antonio Police Department has not received any leads. Prior to this, the Department has received approximately 5 leads in 2019; 2 leads in 2018; 4 leads in 2017 and 6 leads in 2016. None of these leads have produced positive results. Anyone with information on baby Gabriel’s whereabouts is urged to call the San Antonio Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at 210-207-7660 or the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311.”