The mother of a child who has been missing since Dec. 26, 2009, has been released from prison. She was convicted of unlawful imprisonment and custodial interference and sentenced to prison in December 2012. She was also charged with kidnapping. However, the jury failed to reach a verdict on that count.
The woman, who was arrested just days after the baby's disappearance, admitted to giving her 8-month-old son to a couple in Texas in order to give him "a life that was better than I had growing up." According to the woman's attorney, she does not know where her child is. He says "she handed him to a couple she believed would do a good job raising him."
According to authorities, the Arizona woman had been arguing with the child's father about whether to give him up for adoption. Prosecutors say she took the child as a way to get back at him. They say she originally told the child's father that she had killed the little boy and put him in the trash, but then told the police she had given him to a San Antonio couple in a park there.
The child, who would be 5 years old now, has never been located. According to the attorney for the woman, who will turn 28 this month, does not believe that searching for him in San Antonio would do any good because there's no reason to believe he is still there. He says his client "cares most that he's with a family who loves him and is taking good care of him."
The woman, was sentenced to over five years in prison, but received credit for the three years she had served prior to her sentencing. She has another four years of probation. When she was sentenced, she told the judge, "What I have done is unbelievable. There's not really anything I can say for myself."
Obviously, giving a child away to strangers is no way to handle a situation when a parent believes that he or she is not equipped to raise a child. There are other choices, such as adoption or granting temporary custody to a family member. Family law attorneys can advise parents who find themselves in a situation where they cannot care for a child.
Source: azfamily.com, "Baby Gabriel case: Mom released from prison" Catherine Holland and The Associated Press, Jul. 14, 2014