Report: Many Knew Of Abuse Before Indiana Boy Died

CHICAGO (CBS) — A report says more than 13 people might have known of abuse endured by a Gary, Ind., boy before his death but most said nothing to authorities.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports, the Times of Munster, citing a review of Indiana Department of Child Services records, says only one adult claims to have taken her concerns about Christian Choate, 13, to legal authorities.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports

Christian’s body was found in May, encased under a concrete slab in the Colfax Mobile Home Park in Gary.

Christian’s father, Riley Lowell Choate, 34, and stepmother, Kimberly Kubina 45, of the Black Oak section of Gary, are charged in Christian’s death. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, battery, neglect of a dependent, obstruction of justice, removal of a body from a death scene, failure to notify authorities of the discovery of a body and failure to report a body.

Investigators have said Christian was beaten for several years and kept in a cage for as long as a year before the boy’s death in early 2009.

His disappearance went unreported until Lake County police unearthed his body in May from in a shallow grave in the trailer park.

Investigators were tipped off to Christian’s death by Christian’s mother, Aimee Estrada, who said her daughter came to her on May 1 with information about the location of Christian’s body.

The daughter later told investigators that her brother died around April 5, 2009, and that Riley and Kimberly Choate buried Christian behind a home in the 5900 block of West 36th Avenue in Gary on April 8, in the trailer park where they had lived before moving to Kentucky, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Following an investigation, Lake County, Ind., authorities found out further that Christian had been kept in a dog cage secured with seven locks for more than a year by the time he died.

Christian’s sister told prosecutors she was the only one responsible for looking after the boy, and was forced to beat him while recording a video of her actions at Kimberly Choate’s direction.

On April 4, 2009, Christian refused to eat. Prosecutors said Riley got angry and punched him several times in the head before throwing him back in the cage. The following day, the boy’s sister discovered him dead.

The girl said she saw Riley and Kimberly Choate wrap Christian’s body in a two plastic garbage bags and load it into a plastic tote, then haul it off in their van along with several other totes, prosecutors said. Riley Choate said he put a Bible and a cross on the deceased Christian’s chest over the bags before burying him, prosecutors said.

  • Roberta Waker

    EVERYONE that knew about this abuse and did nothing should be sent to jail for a minimum of 30 days. How terrible that people ignored the suffering of this poor little boy until he finally died. A phone call, even anonymously, could have saved his life. I hope those people rot in hell for not doing something to save him. May he finally rest in peace.

  • js

    Even worse is that one person DID report it and authorities still did nothing to about it.

  • Jess

    i agree !!!!!

  • Barbara Zacek Mocherek

    There are some stories that leave me profoundly sad; this is one of them.

  • jonna

    Casey Anthony anyone? Sounds familiar…..hopefully they won’t get acquitted

  • Mary Jo Cain-Reis

    How disturbing! My heart aches for this little boy. What the heck was his sister thinking. She definitely needs some mental help. She is as guilty as the parents of this boy. She repeatedly beat him and caused him harm. She should be on trial too. Hopefully, Riley and Kimberly will meet someone in jail that lets them know exactly how wrong it was to do what they did. Further, I wish people would open their mouths and start reporting things that just don’t seem right. Stop being afraid and looking the other way in the midst of horrible situations. This little boy could have been saved if someone did the right thing. Come on people start stepping up and helping our children. Child abuse needs to stop NOW!!

  • Mikey

    F*ck these human pieces of garbage. RIP kid, you’re in a better place now.

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