A Colorado family is now offering a $100,000 reward for help finding a kidnapped boy.
Christopher Abeyta was just 7-months-old when he was taken from his crib in his Colorado Springs home 27 years ago.
His family has never stopped looking for him. And with the recent kidnapping of Jessica Ridgeway raising awareness about child abductions, they are hoping someone will come forward with information to help them find out what happened to Christopher.
Christopher’s mother, Bernice Abeyta said, “It has been a roller coaster. It’s been up and down.”
But she has never given up hope of finding him alive. She said, “I imagine a lot of times our reunion (pause) crying, but that reunion is so happy. It’s your imagination that keeps you going. You think 'wow, it’s going to happen.' I am positive it's going to happen.”
Denise Abeyta has spent countless hours researching her brother’s abduction.
She was 15 when he was taken. She remembers that day vividly. She said, “What we honestly felt when we woke up and he was gone was honestly pure panic, you didn’t know what was going on, you felt like you were in a dream.”
But that dream quickly became a nightmare. The days stretched into weeks, then months, then years.
There were leads along the way, and Christopher's family followed up on each of them.
Bernice said, “We traveled, camped in tents.” Denise added, “Anytime there was a lead or a sighting, we would drop anything and fly to that sighting and meet with police and provide any information.”
His family believes he is still alive. They had a composite picture drawn by a forensic artist with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, showing what Christopher would look like grown up.
Denise said, “Now that he’s 27 he may be married, he may have a girlfriend, unanswered questions in someone’s life. They may look back and say I don’t have newborn pics of me or the first seven months of my life.”
A few years ago, they went back to the home where Christopher was taken.
Denise reenacted his kidnapping, showing how a person could get in and out of the house without waking anyone in the middle of the night. Watch what the family believes are the steps of Christopher’s kidnapper:
The Abeyta’s have their suspicions about who took Christopher, but police say no one has been ruled in or out as a suspect.
Bernice said, “You have a baby missing. Nothing bothers you. You will do anything to get that baby back. My main thing was I’ll do anything you want. I’ll tell anything you want, just keep looking for my son. Find my son for me.” Investigators say everyone has been cooperative.
Detective Mike Montez of the Colorado Springs Police Department recently took over the investigation.
He said, “I think all those unsolved cases motivate you, especially when you hear from families.”
In his opinion, the passing of time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He said, “In some cases it's good. Relationships change between people. People get mad at one another. They want to talk. I think with this particular case it’s always good to have it in the limelight. Someone out there knows what happened to Christopher. We are hoping someone will see this and come forward.”
His family is determined to keep looking until they find him.
Bernice said, “I need to end this. That’s what gives me the drive. At the beginning it was for Christopher. Now it’s for my children and grandchildren too because I have to end this nightmare.”