The family of a missing Colorado Springs boy is being sued, but we have learned they are firing back with a counter claim.
Christopher Abeyta disappeared from his crib in his Colorado Springs home in 1986.
Some members of the Abeyta family say Emma Bradshaw is a suspect in the case. She reportedly had an affair with the boy's father. But Colorado Springs police tell us she has never been named a suspect.
Bradshaw is suing the Abeytas for defamation of character. On Christopher's Facebook page it says she's the prime suspect in his kidnapping. Bradshaw says those Internet posts hurt her reputation and even cost her her job.
In this new countersuit, Christopher’s parents and sister are denying the allegations they are facing in the lawsuit. The Abeyta family claims Bradshaw is abusing the court process. Their countersuit is for what this is going to cost them to fight it.
We will continue to stay on top of this case and we’ll let you know when there are new developments.
Previous story from December 2nd ************************************
Their son has been missing for 27 years and now the family is part of a lawsuit.
You may remember the case. Christopher Abeyta disappeared from his crib in his Colorado Springs home in 1986. Some members of Christopher Abeyta's family have been vocal about naming a woman from Castle Rock as a suspect in the case. Police, however, have never said she was a suspect.
Now that woman, Emma Bradshaw, is suing the family for defamation of character.
In a lawsuit obtained by 11 News, Bradshaw says someone in the Abeyta family went as far as to send her boss an email saying that she kidnapped Christopher. She says she lost job because of it.
On July 15, 1986, Christopher Abeyta's parents alerted police that their 7-month-old baby had disappeared from his crib.
“I think from the very first day I was committed to getting him back. Even though it’s been all these years, I’m still committed to getting him back,” Christopher's mother Bernice Abeyta said.
Investigators soon learned that Christopher's dad, Gil Abeyta, had been having an affair with Emma Bradshaw. Over the years, some members of family had come to believe that Bradshaw was the kidnapping suspect and started making claims about her. Bradshaw tells 11 News it has gone too far.
The lawsuit names Gil, Bernice and Christopher's older sister Denise as defendants. Bradshaw claims that besides an email that cost her her job, there have also been posts about her online like this one on Christopher's Facebook page: “Emma Bradshaw is currently being investigated for the disappearance of Christopher Abeyta."
The lawsuit alleges the Internet posts have gone viral and caused damage to Bradshaw's reputation, as well as mental and physical distress.
The Abeytas' attorney tells us they have until next week to respond to this lawsuit and then the case moves forward.
It's important to note, again, investigators tell us they have never named Emma Bradshaw as a suspect. Just as recently as Monday, Colorado Springs police confirmed to us they have not named any suspect in this case.
On Monday, the Abeyta family dropped off a petition at the district attorney’s office asking for a grand jury to look at the case.
The DA has said in the past that the public's request for a grand jury does not influence his decision.
We’ll be sure to let you know about any new developments in this case.