Photo: Gabriel Johnson seems to appear sluggish and holding a prescription medicine dispenser in a new photo released by police.
Police believe the photos were snapped by the boy's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, on the last day little Gabriel was seen alive.
Tempe police Lt. Mike Horn appeared on CBS News' "The Early Show" Tuesday, saying the pictures are causing "great concern" to investigators and are raising questions about the mother's treatment of Gabriel.
Photo: Elizabeth Johnson
Elizabeth Johnson, 23, has stymied police efforts to find her child. She was arrested Dec. 30 after a two week road trip that took her to San Antonio and eventually Miami. When police picked her up, her baby was gone.
The boy's biological father, Logan McQueary, says she texted him that she had killed Gabriel and later told him that she put Gabriel's body in a diaper bag and threw it in a trash bin.
Photo: Gabriel Johnson.
But Elizabeth Johnson also told CBS affiliate KPHO, in a phone interview, that she gave Gabriel to a couple she didn't know at a San Antonio park, and that she only said she killed the boy to get back at McQueary.
Elizabeth Johnson has been indicted on charges of kidnapping, child abuse and custodial interference. She remains in custody.
Despite the alarming new photos, Horn says police remain "optimistic" that Gabriel is still alive. They've had "indications" that there may have been a plan to give the boy up for adoption, he said, but also acknowledged that things aren't looking good.
"Unfortunately, as each day passes, we also have to wrestle with the fact that Elizabeth may have carried out what she originally said, and that she killed him," Horn told "The Early Show".
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January 13, 2010 - Did Elizabeth Johnson Sell Missing Son Gabriel Johnson, Kill Him, or Just Give Him Away?
January 11, 2010 - Couple Who Hoped to Adopt Ariz. Baby Took Lie Detector Test
January 11, 2010 - Did Elizabeth Johnson Give Her Baby to Strangers? Arizona Mom Faces Kidnapping, Child Abuse Charges
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