Smith Audio: 'God Wanted Us To Take Gabriel'/ New Recordings Show Desperate Desire To Adopt Missing Baby

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Normal Smith Audio: 'God Wanted Us To Take Gabriel'/ New Recordings Show Desperate Desire To Adopt Missing Baby

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:53 pm

Pat McReynolds
Reporter, KPHO.com

PHOENIX -- A chance meeting in an airport brought Elizabeth Johnson and Tammi Smith together.

An unhappy mother and a woman desperate for another child.

Once fast friends, the two now blame each other for the disappearance of Johnson's 8-month-old boy, Gabriel.

Gabriel has been missing for nearly a year, and leads in the case are dwindling.

But CBS 5 News had obtained new recordings showing how sure Tammi Smith and her husband, Jack, were that Gabriel would be theirs. The recordings further reveal what the Smiths did to try to adopt Gabriel even after the boy vanished.

When Johnson grabbed Gabriel and whisked him away to Texas last December, Gabriel's father, Logan McQueary, was desperate.

He knew that Johnson had befriended a Scottsdale couple, Tammi and Jack Smith, and he called them hoping they might know where Johnson took his boy.

That was when he learned how determined the Smiths were to adopt his son.

"I really believed that God wanted us to take that baby," Tammi Smith told McQueary during the call.

She said she felt meeting Elizabeth in the airport was divine intervention. Smith had already alerted friends to the new addition to her family, and without McQueary's knowledge or permission, she prepared for her new child.

"We went and bought a brand new crib. We bought everything. We bought a house full of baby food, formula, diapers, you name it. We went and bought everything, a crib, a new dress, everything for him. And here we are, just, you know, really upset about it," Smith told McQueary.

That conversation happened shortly after Gabriel disappeared, and McQueary said he had no idea that Tammi Smith had allegedly forged court documents with Johnson to try and steal custody out from under the father.

The Smiths told McQueary they were in contact with Johnson while she was on the run. In a second recorded phone conversation, Tammi's husband, Jack Smith, tried to convince McQueary to give up Gabriel.

"If you will sign the papers, the adoption papers, there is a five-day waiting period. If you sign the papers, then there's a five-day waiting period for you to change your mind. OK? She said after you sign them, five days later, she will bring Gabriel to us. If you want to come out here and spend every weekend with him, you can," Jack Smith told McQueary in the recorded call..

McQueary refused to give up custody.

Then, Tammi Smith was recorded calling family court Judge Michael Mcvey, the judge who awarded McQueary custody of Gabriel after Johnson fled.

Tammi Smith had no part in those hearings, but said she still thought if she could get Gabriel back home, she should be his guardian.

"I know she will tell me where the baby is, but she needs to make sure that he is going to be safe before she tells me. While the parents get their acts together and get themselves together, maybe the judge could let the baby stay with us, since we did have him for a few weeks prior," Smith told the court.

Elizabeth Johnson and her attorneys now argue it was Tammi Smith's plan all along to hand off Gabriel to an anonymous couple in Texas. If Smith couldn't have Gabriel, Johnson's attorney's argue, she knows who has him now.

Whether that's true, the new audio recordings shows the lengths to which she and her husband went to try to bring Gabriel into their home. The courts must decide if those tactics broke the law.

http://www.kpho.com/news/26204667/detail.html

Audio of Tammi Smith on above link. Could not embed.

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