Christopher Abeyta Kidnapping 1986

christopherbaseball4Picture this.

You awake in the morning, get out of bed, walk 2 or 3 feet to your baby’s crib to pick him up and feed him like you do every morning. As you look into his crib, your heart skips a beat.

Your baby isn’t in his crib. The last place he was known to be. The last place you put him.

You search frantically all over the house, calling out to his siblings to see if he’s in their bedroom with them. All to no avail.

Your baby is gone.

Bernice Abeyta lived that nightmare and continues to live it almost 28 years later.

Seven-month-old Christopher Abeyta was taken from his crib during the early morning hours of July 15, 1986. The beautiful blue-eyed baby boy’s crib was  in his parents bedroom. They put him to bed around midnight, but when morning came, Christopher was nowhere to be seen.

Christopher’s parents, Gil and Bernice Abeyta, called the police at 6:30 a.m. The garage door opener was missing, and the front door and a basement window was open. Police found no evidence of a forced entry, mainly because the front door was kept unlocked at night.

Abeyta House. Image source:

At first, the parents were suspects.  They had been separated for a while, but reunited on July 14, 1986, hours before their son was taken. His father was sleeping in the house that night. However, they were eventually ruled out.

Prior to Christopher’s disappearance, Gil had an affair with a woman named Emma Bradshaw. This woman wasn’t playing with a full deck of cards. She had previous stalking and harassing charges filed against her.  She became all Fatal Attraction-like with a married man who was trying to end the relationship. According to court documents, Emma entered the family home and took family pictures off the wall. She sat outside their children’s school and threatened them. She was admitted to several Colorado mental health facilities in the 70s and 80s.

An unknown person began calling the Abeyta residence then hanging up six months prior to the abduction. The calls stopped the day Christopher went missing and resumed again several months afterwards. The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) traced the calls to none other than Emma Bradshaw.

Even though it was OBVIOUS who took Christopher, no charges were ever filed against Emma Bradshaw. The CSPD destroyed most of the case evidence.

The Abeyta family accused the CSPD of negligence and incompetence in their investigation into Christopher’s disappearance.

Christopher remains missing and his family is still actively looking for him. You can follow them on Facebook or visit their website.

Also, watch this video in which one of Christopher’s sisters shows the steps of the kidnapper.

November 2013, Emma filed a lawsuit against the Abeyta family, citing defamation of character. The Abeyta filed a counter suit in response.

To ready my opinion on this case, please click here.


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Author: truecrimediva

True crime blogger

  • sweetface

    What an awful story. 🙁

    Why the heck did the parents leave the door unlocked if the husband was being stalked by a crazy woman?

  • JerryW

    After first two weeks following Christopher’s disappearance, the family presented nothing to the media. They gave zero interviews after the first two weeks until 4 years later. Old news articles show that Bernice (Christopher’s mom) left the state for 2 years after Christopher was “disappeared”. She moved to NM (even though she had minor children living in Colorado Springs including a Down’s Syndrome child) which made it extremely difficult for Colorado Springs detectives to continue to interview her. She and her husband moved into Mexico after this and said they had to leave the USA to look for Christopher. Although Colorado Springs drained one lake looking for Christopher, another lake very close to Bernice’s home couldn’t be drained as it is Colorado Springs’ water supply. That lake is very likely where Christopher Abeyta rests.

    • Seriously, are you one of the cops that was on this case? Because you sound just like one of them. There is absolutely no evidence that Bernice killed Christopher. What was her motive? What would she have gained by getting rid of him? I don’t believe for a second that she killed him. The “other woman” had motive.

  • JerryW

    Bernice Abeyta (the mom) failed TWO polygraphs. One was given by the local Colorado Springs Police Department. The second polygraph the mom failed was given months later by the FBI. Everyone else in this household passed their polygraph. Christopher’s father’s mistress also passed her polygraph. Bernice has refused to take a 3rd polygraph to try to prove her innocence. She’s had THIRTY YEARS to take a third polygraph to prove she didn’t kill her own son, yet she hasn’t.

    • Polygraphs are a joke. Innocent people can fail then and guilty people can pass them. So she failed two. Big whoop. Why should she have to take a third just to prove she didn’t kill her son? They don’t PROVE anything and they are not admissible in court.

  • Petra Koch

    I don´t believe that Christopher is still alive. For Emma Bradshaw the baby was one reason the couple reconciled. In her sick mind to kill the baby was to eliminate that barrier and what must have hurt her too, the baby was the visible outcome of a romatic happening between the married couple. I am pretty sure the baby was the target of her rage.
    To let the baby live and give it away would have been way more risky than to kill him and get rid of the little body.
    Sorry if I express my opinion kind of directly. English is not my first language.

    • Hello, Petra! No worries! Great comment and I’ve wondered that myself. I agree with you. Her anger was aimed at the baby and what better way to get back at the baby’s parents than to eliminate him. Thanks for commenting!

    • MistyT

      I just started following this case and sad I believe you might be correct. There are other online post that state Emma had access to some family property in NM five hours away that is not used. Emma was gone for over a day after Chris went missing. I think she took him there. EB is the type of person who does crazy stuff and makes it look like she is victim. Poor chris was her revenge. She I am sure knew layout and what steps to take to get him from his crib and out the door in seconds. I am sure she has her grandaughter and the few people who are around her fooled that everyone lying out to destroy her and she is innocent. She knows if she actually talked to say Dr. Phil her story would crumble fast. She did this and wants attention posting on FB under fake profile leaving her FB profile open for people to look.