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Family of child who went missing 30 years ago, must pay the woman they think took him

Jury rules against family of missing boy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A jury has ruled in favor of a woman who says she was defamed by the family of a boy who went missing in 1986.

Christopher Abeyta was taken from his crib when he was 7 months old. He would be 30 years old now.

"At our age we're like 'will we find him before we die?' And that's a really, really hard thing," said Bernice Abeyta, mother.

The family believes Emma Bradshaw, Gil Abeyta's former mistress, is responsible for their son's disappearance. Police have never named her as a suspect but the family says they haven't given up.

"You don't forget it. It's very clear, it's engraved in your mind and you remember a lot of details," said Gil Abeyta, father.

In 2013, Bradsaw filed a lawsuit saying emails to her boss and Facebook posts from Christoper's sister Denise Alvez, defamed her.

The complaint said Bradshaw had been damaged and defamed, and that Alvez's accusations invaded her privacy and damaged her, causing mental and emotional distress and loss of a job.

Thursday in court, a jury awarded Bradshaw $150,000 in damages. The jury ruled in favor of the emails but not the Facebook posts.

"I'm disappointed that the jury felt as though I may have harmed her for anything in the verdict but I'm glad that the Facebook posts were not defamatory," said Alvez.

The Abeyta's had filed a counter claim, which the jury rejected. The family says although they're disappointed by the decision, they're glad it's put the case back in the spotlight.

"Although it didn't come out the way we wanted it too, it's the best we could have got. But that doesn't mean we're going to stop looking for our son," said Gil.

Detectives continue to investigate the nearly three-decades-long mystery.  They Abeyta's both took lie detector tests years ago. Bernice Abeyta failed.

"Can you imagine you're a mother and you're trying to find your son and because of you not passing this, there's people out looking? This isn't right for Christopher, we need to put the attention back on him," said Bernice.

The family says investigators are still receiving tips about this case.

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