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youtube.com/Dr. Phil | facebook.com/findchristopher
Source: youtube.com/Dr. Phil | facebook.com/findchristopher

Baby Is Stolen from Crib at Night, Stranger Shows up 32 Years Later & Claims to Be the Missing Child

Ayesha Muhammad
Jun 01, 2022
04:55 P.M.
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One summer night after dinner, a mother put her baby to sleep in the crib, lying feet away from her bed. But when she woke up the next day, the house echoed with painful cries because the crib was empty. Where was her little one?

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Parenthood is an extraordinary journey that changes people's lives most unexpectedly. Sometimes, couples might undergo an endless struggle to embrace parenthood, but their hearts swell with pure love and joy when they finally cradle their little ones.

Indeed, parents can go to any lengths to ensure their children's safety, and the mere thought of someone hurting their kids can cause them sheer pain and trauma. Today's story sheds light on a mother's unwavering love and longing for her child.

Bernice Abeyta. | Source: youtube.com/Dr. Phil

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A PLAYFUL CHILD

On November 28, 1985, Christopher Abeyta was born in Colorado Springs to Bernice and Gil Abeyta. He was the youngest of seven children, and his family loved him immensely. Bernice described her boy as a smart, cheerful baby who loved making his family laugh. She said:

"He really was a doll. He was very entertaining. He would do funny things, and if we laughed, he would do it again because he knew he was getting some attention."

On the evening of July 14, 1986, the Abeytas sat in the living room of their Colorado Springs home in Colorado. Christopher's sister, Denise Alves, recalled how he laughed at her while she smelled a bouquet of roses and pretended to sneeze.

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THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING

Alves, who was 15 then, said that she gave her brother his last bottle at around 12:30 a.m. that night, and he was put to sleep after dinner in a crib placed only feet away from his parents' bed. At about 5 a.m. on July 15, the Abeyta residence echoed with painful sobs and screams.

The family's hopes were raised when he presented them with his photo as a toddler to back up his claims.

Christopher's older sister recounted how she woke up to her mom crying uncontrollably and frantically running around the house. It was then that Alves realized that something was terribly wrong, but she said she could have never imagined it involved her little brother.

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THE EMPTY CRIB

Much to the family's dismay, Christopher had disappeared from the crib. The worried family searched their house and scoured the entire neighborhood to no avail. They also noted that one of the windows and the front door was cracked open.

Shortly afterward, the then-seven-month-old child was reported missing. An extensive search was conducted to find the missing infant, but it failed to provide any substantial leads. Three days after Christopher's mysterious disappearance, a teary-eyed Bernice told the local media:

"We need him desperately. I can't live without him. I want whoever has him, please bring him back to me. I need him worse than you could ever imagine."

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Christopher's sister, Denise Alves. | Source: youtube.com/Dr. Phil

THE SEARCH BEGAN

Alves explained how losing Christopher changed her mom forever. Bernice devoted her life to looking for her missing boy and reportedly traveled the country chasing down leads, sometimes buying wigs and tailing suspected abductors in disguise.

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Per Alves, she and her mother became amateur detectives, with Bernice scouring obituaries to find some information regarding her sweet boy. Alves went on to get married and have children of her own, but she and her mother never stopped looking for Christopher. She told PEOPLE:

"You don't just stop looking for someone."

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AN UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE

The Abeytas set up a Facebook page dedicated to their missing son, which revealed another shocking piece of information reportedly linked to Christopher's disappearance.

It said that a woman went to Christopher's father's parents' home under the guise that she was with Colorado Springs Saint Mary High School's Reunion Committee. She told the unsuspecting grandparents that she needed photographs of their son Gil's family for an upcoming high school reunion.

Gil was said to have graduated from Saint Mary's High School. His mom gave her the photographs as she had no reason not to believe the woman.

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A SHOCKING REVELATION

It was also believed that the person who took baby Christopher was said to be seeking personal revenge from the family and was thought to be a woman. In an episode of "Investigation Discovery's 'Still a Mystery: Missing Blue Eyes,'" Alves revealed another soul-stirring piece of information:

"One of the detectives asked my father, 'Is there anyone new in your life?' And he said, 'Yes, there's a woman I've been having an affair with.'"

After Christopher's strange disappearance, his father, Gil, admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman named Emma Bradshaw. It was also revealed that Bernice and Gil had reportedly separated in the past but were reconciling around the time of their son's abduction.

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A GLIMMER OF HOPE

Later on, the Abeyta family suspected that Bradshaw had kidnapped their sweet boy because of a personal offense, but the police never named her a suspect in the case. Nearly 32 years after the 1986 disappearance, a man came forward and claimed to be Christopher.

The family's hopes were raised when he presented them with his photo as a toddler to back up his claims. He was said to have narrated his story of growing up, which convinced the Abeytas that he could be Christopher.

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This wasn't the first time someone had come forward and claimed to be Christopher because the Abeytas reportedly experienced at least three similar instances earlier. Still, they awaited the DNA results with high hopes and couldn't wait to see them.

But to their utter disappointment, the man was not Christopher. Alves revealed that Bernice fought till her last breath to find her missing son. Later in life, she developed gall bladder cancer, and her health started deteriorating rapidly. Still, she hoped to meet her little boy one day.

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A DYING MOM'S LAST MESSAGE

In an interview with Dr. Phil, an emotional Alves shared how her mother never gave up hope and continued her search for Christopher for three decades. The dying mother also left a special message for her son. She expressed:

"Christopher, I want to tell you if I'm not here, you couldn't even imagine how much your whole family has loved you and missed you. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see you and if I do leave and I'm not here, I hope it's within my power to be able to help someone find you."

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HOPE NEVER DIES

Per Alves, Bernice never got a chance to be reunited with her missing boy and passed away at 73 in February 2017. In August 2020, Gil also died after suffering a heart attack. The Abeyta couple breathed their last breaths without ever knowing anything about their missing son.

Following her dying mom's final wish, Alves is still looking for her youngest brother. The case remains an ongoing investigation, and the family hopes someone with any information or tips on the case will reach out to them through their website or Facebook page.

What are your thoughts on this heart-wrenching story? If this story touched your heart, please share it with your family and friends and help the Abeyta family find their missing son.

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