Mother of missing child to be released from prison - FOX 35 News Orlando

Mother of missing child released from prison

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Elizabeth Johnson (file) Elizabeth Johnson (file)
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - After serving nearly five years in prison, Elizabeth Johnson walked out of jail a free woman on Friday.

Johnson became a free woman around 12 a.m.

You may remember her, as the mother of missing baby Gabriel.

The case made national headlines in 2009 when Johnson was accused of kidnapping her baby before telling the child's father that she killed him.

She later recanted that story, but baby Gabriel is still missing.

Johnson was never convicted of murder or kidnapping. Instead she was sent to prison after being found guilty of unlawful imprisonment, custodial interference, and conspiracy to commit custodial interference. Her attorney says that she has changed since the case began in 2009, and she has a new lease on life.

"I take full responsibility for my actions, I regret taking Gabriel away from Logan and I regret saying the horrible things I said," said Johnson.

She took the stand in 2012 admitting that she made mistakes. Johnson took the baby to Texas where she told the baby's father that she had killed him. She later changed her story saying that she gave Gabriel to a family in Texas.

Her attorney Marc Victor tells FOX 10 that the case was a challenge because baby Gabriel was nowhere to be found. The jury heard recordings of Elizabeth telling the baby's father that she killed him. He added that this case was never about murder.

"Elizabeth said to me from day one, "look, I am guilty, I violated the court order, I left the state and I shouldn't have done it. I'm guilty of all that I did that stuff." said her attorney.

Johnson claimed she gave Gabriel away to get back at the father.

"I wanted to hurt him, and that was the only thing I could do, and I also blamed him for me giving away my baby, I wanted to do it on my own, it was also ruining my life, I blamed him for everything, since I met him he brought me down and just took everything from me," said Johnson.

Elizabeth Johnson absolutely loved and was very committed to baby Gabriel, her son.

She spent five years behind bars, and Victor says that the now 28 year-old is a much different woman after this experience.

"She's learned a lot, and she has a different perspective on things, I think she's obviously looking forward to being released. But she has plans to do something positive with her life, she wants to take the experiences she's had and maybe use those to help single moms who are in difficult situations as she was in," said Victor.

The family of Logan McQueary, the father, said the family believes justice has not been served. Baby Gabriel is still listed as a missing person, he would be five years old now.

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