COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE 10/22/18:
It's unclear if a lead Colorado Springs police received 17 months ago about a baby was checked out.
11 News shared a story last week about a social worker out of state who has wondered if a man named Chris is Christopher Abeyta, the baby who disappeared from his Colorado Springs home in 1986.
In 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children passed her tip on to Colorado Springs Police. Monday night, police confirmed they received that information but haven't yet said what they did with it.
The man who is at the center of all this says police never contacted him about that tip and he didn't know who Christopher Abeyta was until the social worker tracked him down a few weeks ago.
11 News anchor Dianne Derby traveled across the country to meet that man. 11 News chose not to show his face while police investigate. The family of the missing baby says they have never heard about this tip and are outraged with how Springs police have handled this case.
Authorities out of state took DNA from the man 11 News met with. Police say it will be up to six months before we get those results.
ORIGINAL STORY 10/18/18:
The family of a baby who went missing in 1986 wants answers from Colorado Springs police about how they're handling a recent lead in the case.
That lead is from a man out of state who contacted 11 News when he received a shocking phone call.
11 News anchor Dianne Derby traveled across the country to meet him. He says he had never even heard about the disappearance of Christopher Abeyta until that call.
“I got a weird phone call a couple days ago and it’s about a missing child that's been missing since 1986,” said the man, who happens to be named Chris.
The Chris who reached out to 11 News was born in Colorado. 11 News is covering his identity while police test his DNA. Dianne Derby was with Chris as he tried to call Springs police.
“I need to get a hold of maybe an investigator that's been working on the case,” Chris stated over the phone, trying to get in touch with anyone handling the Abeyta cold case.
That call was the fourth number he dialed that morning as he tried to give his information to CSPD. The cold case phone number listed on CSPD’s website was no longer in service, and no one answered on the missing persons or homicide hotlines. He finally reached a dispatcher, who instead of taking his name or number directed him to his local police and ended the call.
“You wonder how many leads have slipped through the cracks,” Denise Alves, the sister of Christopher Abeyta, questioned as she sat with Derby at the 11 News studio.
Christopher Abeyta's sisters are stunned.
“It's disappointing that after all of this time that someone calls in wanting to give information and there was nobody available to take the information,” Denise explained. “Or even, I guess it almost felt like take it seriously.”
11 News took it seriously and went with Chris to his local police department.
“I got a phone call the other day about a missing child that they're thinking I am out of Colorado,” Christopher said to his local authorities. “They told me I need to come here and talk to you."
Christopher’s local police agreed to take his fingerprints and DNA. They said they would send them to CSPD.
“People are apprehensive to talk, big time. And they will take … decide to make that one phone call and if they don't get through they're like, 'It wasn't meant to be,'” Denise said.
The Abeytas were also shocked to learn this is not the first time Colorado Springs police have gotten this man's name. A social worker tells 11 News she thought the Chris who reached out to us was Christopher Abeyta when he was just 3 years old and called CSPD herself. Then, in 2017, she called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and told them the same thing. They confirmed to 11 News they got the call and handed it over to the lead agency on the case.
We're waiting for CSPD to investigate if they did get those tips, and if so, how they were handled. But they will confirm they are now looking into it.
“It freaks me out; I don't know if this is true,” Chris said.
“You think maybe this could be the answer, and we have to see it through," Denise said.
CSPD says in the last two months three people, including the man we interviewed, have come forward believing they are Christopher Abeyta. They say DNA has only been taken in the latest two cases. CSPD says it could take as long as six months to get those results.
Police add the Abeyta investigation continues to be a priority.
11 News will stay on top of this investigation and let you know as soon as the results are revealed.