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Did Elizabeth Johnson Give Her Baby to Strangers? Arizona Mom Faces Kidnapping, Child Abuse Charges

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(KPHO/Personal Photo)
PHOENIX (CBS/AP) Elizabeth Johnson, the Arizona mother at the center of the "baby Gabriel" case involving her missing son, has been charged with kidnapping, child abuse and custodial interference.

Photo: Elizabeth Johnson with her son, Gabriel.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

She told police she gave the 8-month-old to strangers, but also texted the boy's father that she had killed little Gabriel Johnson.

The Tempe Police Department said Sunday that Gabriel Johnson's 23-year-old mother is being held at the Maricopa County jail on the three felony charges after being extradited from Florida, where she was taken into custody Dec. 30 after failing to show up for a custodial hearing in Phoenix.

Photo: Elizabeth Johnson.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

She claimed, in an exclusive interview with CBS affiliate KPHO, that she gave the baby away in San Antonio. She made that statement after she had sent a text message to the father, Logan McQueary, telling him she had killed the infant.

Though authorities believe the baby has not been harmed, they are trying to determine what happened to little Gabriel, who was last seen with mother Elizabeth Johnson in San Antonio last month.

Police say she's being held on a cash only $1.1 million bond.

PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

Authorities are calling a Scottsdale couple, Jack and Terri Smith, "persons of interest" in the case.

The couple has said they befriended Johnson at an airport and that she wanted to give her son up for adoption. Terri Smith has said the child's father, Logan McQueary, who is Johnson's ex-boyfriend, wouldn't go along.

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PICTURES: Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
January 8, 2010 - Couple Who Hoped to Adopt Baby Gabriel Johnson Now "Persons of Interest" In His Disappearance
January 6, 2010 - Arizona Baby Gabriel Johnson Missing After Road Trip; Mom Refuses to Help Police

  • Edecio Martinez

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