Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of 7-month-old Christopher Abeyta. He was taken from his Colorado Springs home in the middle of the night. There have been suspects but no arrests, and his fate is unknown. But there may be new hope for his family.
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children will soon begin reviewing the case. The center has a panel of experts who specialize in cases of missing children. Colorado Springs police have just one detective involved in Christopher's case and other cold cases, and welcome the center's help.
"Our investigators have been through (the case) with a fine-toothed comb," said Sgt. Steve Noblitt. "If (the center) sees something that we can follow up on or that maybe we overlooked, or have some suggestions, we're going to listen to what they have to say."
Christopher, the youngest of seven children, was taken from the crib in his parents' bedroom at the family's home on Ashwood Circle. Police list the case as a nonfamily abduction. The front door was unlocked to allow older siblings to enter. Early speculation centered on someone in the family as being responsible.
"I swear to you, I will find my son if no one else does," said Bernice Abeyta, Christopher's mother. "I will not pass away without finding him and bringing closure into this family."
The Abeytas said they believe a local woman took Christopher for reasons that are unclear. Christopher's father, Gil Abeyta, confessed to having an affair with her. The night of Christopher's disappearance was the first night Gil Abeyta returned home after a separation from his wife.
The family said they suspect the woman repeatedly called the home six months before Christopher's disappearance, then again several months later. The family also said she broke into the home previously and stole family photos.
"She's been in a mental institution, stalking, telephones," said Gil Abeyta. "Everything that a kidnapper does was there. The symptoms were there. I didn't know about her history. I'm not proud (of the affair). I have to live with it. I have a guilty feeling about it."
The Abeytas said they expect the center to begin working on the case in late July or early August.