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A Letter to Christopher


Dear Christopher,

On July 15, 1986, our family’s life was changed forever. The previous evening was a quiet summer night and you took your first steps around the coffee table.  There were flowers on the table and you laughed when I smelled them and sneezed. I pretended to sneeze again.  You thought that was the funniest thing and laughed a deep laugh I will never forget. I was the one who fed you your bottle that night and you fell asleep in my arms. Mom was right behind me as I walked upstairs and laid you down in your crib.  It was Mom who covered you in a light blanket and we said your goodnights to you. The next morning I was awoken by mom’s frantic scream, “Christopher, he’s not here, where’s Christopher?”  You were not in your were gone. 

Sister and baby
Mother and baby

You are the baby of a close-knit family with six older brothers and sisters who adored you. Your birth brought us so much joy.  The reason your kidnapper had to steal you in the middle of the night under the cover of darkness is because there was never an opportunity to take you as you were always surrounded by your family.

We don’t know the young man you have become, but we have an obligation to you.  The day you went missing, our parents devoted their lives to finding you. Even through the hardest of times, when others seem to have forgotten about you, they never wavered in their sense of purpose and that was to find you.  Despite the feeling of an overwhelming sense of helplessness and the days turned into weeks, months into years, and years into decades, Mom and Dad travelled the country and investigated every tip that came in, spending whatever money they had continuing their selfless search for you.

In 2016, Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and leaving her with only months to live. Even though Mom’s health was rapidly deteriorating and she was so weak just getting up to go to the kitchen left her drained and exhausted, she continued to advocate for your return. Right before she finally succumbed to cancer, we arranged a meeting with the District Attorney to discuss your case and request additional resources from law enforcement. That day, when we arrived at the District Attorney’s office, I wanted Mom to use a wheelchair so she could save what little precious energy she had left, but she insisted on walking in to his office with the same strength and determination that had sustained her in your search over the last three decades. 

Christopher Abeyta missing poster

We don’t know what your fate was that summer night in 1986, but know we have never given up seeking answers. Your kidnapper’s actions changed the course of our lives. Mom made it very clear that if you were found after all these years she wouldn’t want to disrupt your life, but she wanted you to know that you were loved and we never gave up looking for you. Not having answers and not knowing if you are safe or even alive does not come with any closure. We continue to plea to your kidnapper and those that have information to do the right thing and come forward. And if you were harmed we seek justice. We promise you we will continue.


This letter was written to Christopher by his sister Denise. It has been 32 years since his disappearance. If you have any information, please call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.