New Lead on Missing Baby Gabriel
San Antonio —
"It's been 6 years now and it's just crazy that it's been this long," says Logan McQueary, who is still looking for his son Gabriel.
McQueary Fox San Antonio that in that time he has not lost hope of finding Gabriel alive. Back in 2010 the child went missing after his mother, Elizabeth Johnson, fled Arizona with the boy so McQueary wouldn't gain custody of the boy.
But just a few months ago McQueary got a call that made him believe not everything was being done to find Gabriel.
"We got a new case worker on Gabriel's case a little less than a year ago. She called me and asked for my DNA and I said 'Don't you guys already have it?' and she said 'No, we don't," explained Logan McQueary.
McQueary thought that was unbelievable, because he says he gave DNA to SAPD back in 2010.
NCMEC sent McQueary to the Sidney Police Department in Sidney, Ohio to have his DNA collected once again, which will be put into a national data bank.
That will make it available if DNA is collected from "X", a child whose picture was sent to the family via Facebook in August of 2014. Logan says the picture gave him butterflies because he believes that child could be Gabriel.
The family also says they forwarded the picture to SAPD's Lead Detective, Jesse Salame.
"He was supposedly looking in to everything that we had sent him," Logan claimed.
Six months later in February of 2015, McQueary got an email from Salame that gave him hope on two fronts. Salame wrote that there was a relationship between the child in the picture and Tammi Smith. Smith was a woman who had wanted to adopt Gabriel. She was convicted along with Gabriel's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, of being involved in custodial interference. Both women served prison sentences.
As for his opinion about child "X", Salame wrote "the NCMEC also did analysis and while they noted the visual similarities of child 'X' to McQueary, they cannot make a positive determination based on photographs alone."
After that email, the family says there was no communication from SAPD until last month.
"It's just... it's unbelievable that they couldn't get back to us. You know, it had been months since we heard from him," McQueary stated.
Logan believes that SAPD "should hand this case over to the FBI who's assisting. They'll have a fresh pair of eyes."
We requested an interview from Jesse Salame, who was the lead investigator on the case. Salame is now a Sergeant and the spokesperson for the police department. Salame told Fox San Antonio that his schedule did not permit time for an on-camera interview before this story aired Monday night. Salame did say in a written statement, "When I left Homicide, the Gabriel Johnson case was reassigned to the Missing Persons Unit. As for the status of the case, it remains an open investigation."
Logan and his family, however, are in disbelief that they were never notified that the case had been reassigned. "Hearing that, it's just why wouldn't they notify us? Why wouldn't they tell us? Why would the lead detective keep talking to us like it was his case? Why would they not tell us if somebody else was assigned to the case? "
As for Gabriel's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, a lot has changed in her life. Logan's family tells Fox San Antonio that she has married and bought a condo since she got out of jail.
"She just gets to get out of jail. Get out of prison. Do whatever she wants. Gets to live her life and forget about what happened. This shouldn't happen like that. She should pay more than she did. Five years in prison for a life? People are getting more in prison for drugs and other things. She gets five years for making her son disappear?" McQueary stated.
Fox San Antonio also tried to contact Elizabeth Johnson through her family, but we never got a call back.
Sgt. Salame's statement also said, "the police department works with the NCMEC to follow up on any tangible leads. At this time, there is no credible information to report."
If you have any information you can call 1-800-THE-LOST or contact the family directly through Gabriel's Facebook page Bring Home Gabriel Johnson.