On the night of july 14 Bernice, a mother of seven children, gave her seven month's old baby boy his last bottle at around 12:30 am, and put him in his crib for a good night sleep. The little bed was located in the master bedroom, just next to her own bed. Bernice also went to sleep, but woke up at about 6 am. She looked at the crib and noticed her baby wasn't in it anymore. She searched the entire house but there was no trace of her son. The front door was partially open though.. The panicked mother called the police and they arrived at 06:45am. Officers searched every inch of the house and found out that a basement window was open, and the garage door opener was missing. There was no sign of forced entry at the house, and nothing appeared touched or disturbed. Bernice did tell the police that she had left the front door unlocked the other night, so that one of her older children could enter the house after spending the night elsewhere. Police suspected somebody had entered the house through the unlocked frontdoor and kidnapped the seven month year old baby at a moment when everybody in the house was sleeping. 

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Plea to return Christopher home and police investigation
In the afternoon Bernice spoke during a news conference and emotionally asked the kidnapper to return her son home. In the meantime police searched the entire area for clues or traces, but couldn't find any evidence linked to the disappearance. Christopher was already missing for three weeks when authorities drained Quail Lake, just a few miles away from the family's house at 3311 Ashwood Circle in Cheyenne Hills. The search didn't result in any findings.

Family suspected
Police started to suspect the couple because of the lack of a forced entry at the house, and due to the lack of traces. They also found it suspicious that nobody in the house had heard something that night, and that the kidnapping took place in a period where Bernice and Gil had marital problems -mainly because of Gil's secret affairs-. A few weeks before, the couple separated for a while, but in the end decided to come back together again. The night that Christopher vanished was also the first night that husband Gil slept in the family home again.

The police decided to let Bernice take a polygraph test, to which the mother of seven failed twice. She attributed the failed exams to stress and withdrawal of medication usage. She stated she was treated harshly by the police and had a six hour long interrogation before she took the first test. Authorities never charged the couple, but also never cleared them. Bernice always denied having anything to do with the disappearance of her son. Both her and her husband believe to this day that somebody abducted their child.

Family starts their own search
After the failed polygraphs Christophers family decided to investigate the disappearance themselves. Gil stopped working to focus on the search, and two of Christophers sisters dropped out of school to participate. The family decided to set up a hotline where anybody could give any information about the case. They even took it a step further by forming their own organization: Families of Missing Children Inc.

The family eventually sold their house and spend close to one million Dollars in their investigations. They hired private detectives, and also trailed potential suspects themselves. Christophers family traveled to Mexico to publicize about the case, and to follow up on leads, but also advanced through the states to find potential traces. Bernice, Gil and the family 

Bernice, Gil and the family came up with several interesting scenarios over the years. For example, they found out that the person who signed his birth certificate had lost a baby herself. And that this woman had quit her job at the hospital the day before Christophers disappearance. Not much later she moved to Australia. In another scenario, Gil's mistress, Emma B. came into the picture. She not only had a history of burglaries, but also of alleged stalking cases. The woman at one point even went into a former partner's house to remove the family photos from the wall. Although B. most likely was a POI (person of interest) at some point, Police never found any evidence to link her to the case. 

Christopher Enoch Abeyta

Two age-progressed photos of Christopher

Throughout the years there've been a hand full of men that claimed to be Christopher Enoch Abeyta. And although they sometimes didn't receive much attention from the media, they have all eventually been checked. DNA-evidence showed non of these men where Christopher. 

Bernice sadly passed away on February 12 2017, at the age of 73. Her husband Gil died of a heart attack in August 2020. Christophers siblings are still looking to find answers and never gave up the their search for him.

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