Blogging from PHOENIX –David Keller– Authorities report that 23 year old Elizabeth Johnson, The Tempe Arizona mother who created a National media firestorm when she claimed in a text message to having killed her 8 month old baby was returned to Phoenix early Sunday.

Johnson has been held in a Miami jail since December 30, She later recanted her text confession about killing the boy and subsequently claimed to have given Gabriel to a San Antonio couple she doesn’t know. She says she gave Gabriel away to prevent the baby’s father, Logan McQueary, 25, from gaining custody. The Tempe Arizona police brought Johnson from Miami-Dade County, Fla., and booked her into the Fourth Avenue jail early Sunday morning. Johnson is being held on a $1.1 million dollar cash bond. She faces multiple felony charges including kidnapping, child abuse and custodial interference. Deputy Doug Matteson the Maricopa County sheriff’s spokesperson, deferred comment to Tempe police because they are the department responsible for investigating the case. Tempe police were not available for comment Sunday. The Tempe police have searched for Gabriel since Johnson failed to show for a custody hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court on December 28, a judge then awarded the father Logan McQueary custody of the baby.

A bench warrant for custodial interference was issued against Johnson and she was arrested in Miami on December 30 without her son. Gabriel was last seen December 26 in San Antonio Texas. The next day, Johnson sent McQueary the text message saying she had killed Gabriel. She refuses to tell authorities where the boy is located. San Antonio police and FBI agents found Johnson’s car January 5 at the Motel 6 located on Interstate 35, but found no sign of baby Gabriel. Last week, Tempe police named a Scottsdale Arizona couple Jack and Tammi Smith, who were hoping to  adopt Gabriel, as “persons of interest” in the case. The couple first met Johnson at the airport, where the mother offered up the boy for adoption. In an interview last week, Tammi Smith said she had texted and spoke with Johnson up until Johnson’s arrest last month. Tammie Smith said she was trying to find out where baby Gabriel was and attempted to coax Johnson into returning to Arizona.

Prior to her early morning return today, Johnson was scheduled for an extradition hearing January 19 in Miami. Authorities advise that whoever has Gabriel can leave the baby at a safe place, such as a fire station or hospital should they be afraid to come forward.

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