Christian Milton Chaote
December 27, 1995 - April 5, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial

In Gary, Indiana the body of Christian Milton Chaote was dug up by the Lake County Police. Christian had been abused, tortured and eventually killed by his father, Riley Choate and his stepmother, Kimberly Kubina. Even more shocking than his actual death was the fact that Christian had told his Physician that he was being locked up during the night. Christian's Pediatrician was Dr. (not that she deserves that title) Leticia Chy-Koa and she never bothered to report what he had told her to the proper authorities. By law, Doctors are required to report abuse, however, it seems that none of them ever face a consequence when they fail to follow that law.

Christian was being treated for depression, anxiety and ADD before and at the time of his death. Records seemed to be illegible, the handwritten notes of Dr. Chy-Koa were not able to be read except for a few things and one of those was that he was having accidents in his pants. When Christian told her during a visit in 2008 that he was being locked in a cage at night, she didn't feel the need to tell anyone about it. When contacted about what she had been told and how she had failed to report it, she had this to say:

"I sent the records to the Department Of Child Services and that should
be sufficient. There's no reason for me to take calls from you"

No,  Dr Chy-Koa, what WOULD have been sufficient would have been you doing your job, protecting an innocent child from those who he TOLD you were abusing him, reporting the abuse to CPS and saving the life of this little boy. He's dead and YOU are partly to blame for that!  If you did nothing wrong, you would STILL be working for the Highland Medical Practice, you're not. Prosecutors were trying to decide if charges should be filed against Dr. Chy-Koa, though a gag order eventually prevented them from talking about it and a two year statute of limitations was most likely going to stop the charges from being filed.

Christian Choate was 13 years old when he was beaten to death and buried by his parents outside of their trailer house.  At that point, the family had been getting regular visits from CPS for more than ten years.  If a family is getting visited for TEN years, isn't that a red flag? There is a file which is said to be over an inch thick about the visit CPS paid to the family over ten years. The file consists of allegations of abuse and/or neglect from 1999 to 2009. Many opportunities were missed that could have saved the life of Christian, once again, a child was failed over and over by those who are PAID to protect him.

Christian's parents were charged with murder after his older sister, who was 17 at that time, told the police what happened when he died. It was less than one year before his death that DCS records shows that a visit was made to the family home to interview Christian, his parents and his siblings to check on a report that Christian was being help under "house arrest".

Prosecutors say that Christian has been beaten every day, had been given very little food, often had accidents in his pants and was locked in a cage that was three foot high and would normally hold a dog. In the report was mention of Christian having been to the doctor on many occasions from 2007 to 2008. The doctor noted that Christian was losing weight on a consistent basis and that he had told the doctor someone had hit him with the door in his bedroom, just two days before a visit in February of 2007. It was only one month later when the doctor noted that he was angry all the time and that he was being locked up at night.

Christian was caged naked or chained to a bed frame at night and didn't dare make any noise for fear he was going to get beaten. Police say that the abuse took place over a three year period. Riley Lowell Choate, who was 39 at that time and Kimberly Leona Kubina, who was 45 at that time, were charged with murder, battery, neglect of a dependent and criminal confinement, in Lake County, Indiana.

There were witnesses who reported to police that Riley would slap Christian in the face when family members said that Christian had molested a relative. Considering that Riley was accused of abusing his nieces, I would say he had a double standard going on. The abuse that Christian suffered got worse as time went on and Riley and Kimberly began to fight a lot. Riley took everything out on Christian.



A witness told police that Christian had lived in the dog cage, which was bought from a neighbor and had seven locks on it, for over a year. Why didn't this witness tell police BEFORE Christian died? I just don't get it! Christian's 17 year old sister, Christina Choate, was made to chain him to a bed frame at times. The sister told police that she was the one who had to feed Christian, take him to the bathroom, help him to exercise and even do the physical punishing of Christian if he disobeyed. The sister says she was abused when she didn't do what she was told to do to Christian. The sister said that Kimberly told the other children that Christian was a dog and that was why he needed to be locked up.

Christian was denied food as the beatings got worse and at times was naked or in a diaper in the cage. At times
he was gagged with a sock and duct tape. While the other children tried to sneak him food, Christian could be
heard at times screaming from being given an ice cold bath and his hands were beginning to turn purple from the
amount of time he spent tied to the bed frame. His sister states that she would at times hit him once and then
choke him until he would turn blue. A video camera was often used to record the abuse he suffered. The tapes
were eventually taped over though several devices were taken from the family home including computers, digital
cameras and cell phones.

The day before he died, Christian was refusing to eat anything at all. Riley became angry about this and punched
him in the head several times before he was forced back into the case. April 5, 2011 was no different. Christian
refused to eat cereal brought to him by his sister who then slapped him and put him back into the cage. After
checking on his several times, the sister noticed that he was not breathing and called her stepmother and aunt.
CPR was attempted with an air mattress pump, it was unsuccessful. Christian's sister was told by her stepmother
to wrap him in a blanket and put him inside black, plastic trash bags which would be secured with duct tape.
Christian was then buried, covered with cement and the family eventually moved away.

Kimberly told her other children that Christian had run away. A witness says that Kimberly asked Riley if he
thought they would get caught and he replied by asking her what she was talking about. Kimberly mentioned
the "thing" about Christian. The children were told that Christian's running away was a family thing and they were
all going to work through it and no one was to talk about it "This goes to the grave" she was quoted as saying.
Christian was missing for two years and no one even noticed.

Aimee Estrada, Christian's biological mother said that she left Riley after he started to abuse her. Riley had
custody of their two children and was not allowed to see them after 2005. On May 1, 2011, she contacted the
police after her daughter told her that Christian was dead.

CPS claims that they saw no signs of abuse at all in the household.

"We followed all state laws and policies and procedures and we'll continue assessing this fatality"
DCP Spokeswoman - Anne Houseworth

Anne Houseworth admitted that the abuse suffered by Christian was exceptional adding that the staff did follow agency protocol and performed thorough investigations of the allegations, adding:

"If we don't see any evidence of abuse and no one admits anything is going on, there is
nothing for us to do"

In 2007, school officials would lose track of Christian after they were told by Kimberly that he would begin to be home schooled. After his death, DCP did review some of his assignments and found that the in his writings he had expressed thoughts and how he felt at the time:

"Christian's writings detail a very sad, depressed child who often wondered when someone,
anyone, was going to come and check on him. He wrote of why nobody liked him and how
he just wanted to be liked by his family, how isolated and sad Christian was on a daily basis"

When Christian's stepmother gave him paper to write down how he felt, he simply wrote "I want to die". Also
written down were accounts of how he had to steal food because he was given very little to eat and how he was
only let out of his cage to clean the house and rarely got to go outside. To entertain himself, Christian used the
paper and pencil that his stepmother had given him..

Christian's writing seemed to be random other than when he was given an assignment by his stepmother which
usually included detailing such things as "Why do you still want to see your mom?, "Why can't you let the past
go?" and "What does it mean to be part of a family?".

After his death in the cage he was forced to live in, Christian's father buried him, covered the grave with concrete
and moved the family away. There threats that no one should tell what happened. DCS records would show that
his father was a known abuser who was allowed to keep custody of his son even with the facts right there.


   
Aimee Estrada

   

Christian's memorial service was started off with a song and then a prayer was said.

Over 150 people got together at the memorial to honor Christian. Adults and children were all present and heads
were bowed while the Pastor spoke.

"We are here to grieve. To grieve with the family and grieve with the community. Because
what was done here, was done among us. How did I not know him? How did you not
know him? How did this escape our attention"

Family, friends and strangers all gathered to say their final good byes to Christian. Christian's biological mother
was there to greet mourners with hugs and tears. A photo album showed pictures of Christian throughout his life
before his life became one of misery and abuse. One card celebrated his birth! Pictures of Christian in a Winnie
The Pooh onsie, a Kit Kat Bar Halloween costume and baseball clothing were shown.

Next to Christian's casket was a beautiful flower arrangement with white Chrysanthemums and red carnations
with a large red bow. The card read: "To Christian, you're safe now". Mourners walked by his casket and cried.

"I don't know him, I don't know the family, or the friends, but you feel like we all have a
purpose. Maybe his was to show us how really important love is"

In July of 2007, Riley's defense attorneys requested that a second autopsy be done on Christian. The request
was denied by a Judge in Lake County. Christian's death was listed as blunt force trauma which caused internal
bleeding and a skull fracture. The request from these lawyers caused the burial of Christian to be delayed.

In October of 2011, an additional charge involving sex with a minor was to be added to Riley's charges.

Eventually, a worker at the Child Welfare office admitted that they had failed Christian and were unable to keep
tabs on him. Lavetta Sparks-Wade who was head of the Lake Country CPS until she retired in 2009 said that it
did appear that the DCS workers did not do a thorough enough investigation into abuse allegations concerning
Christian:

"We failed him.  I can tell you if someone told me there was a boy in a cage, we would have
removed that child from the home immediately. No one must have talked to this child, or the
other children in the house. An experienced caseworker would have known something was
wrong if that level of abuse was going on in the household"
Lavetta Sparks Wade

OBITUARY:

Christian Milton Choate, age 13, passed away in Gary, IN. He leaves his mother, Aimee Eriks Estrada; two
sisters: Chrstina Choate and Alyssa Nieto; two step-brothers: Justin Estrada and Anthony Estrada; aunts:
Theresa (Michael) Harmon, Cindy (John) Oulensby, Kristen (Johnny) Seratta and Jennifer Eriks; stepfather, Silas
Estrada; maternal grandparents: Bernard and Carol Eriks; maternal great grandparents: Barbara Rhone and
Hildreth Eriks; and a special father figure: Daniel Nieto. Also a host of other relatives and dear friends.

Visitation will be on Friday, May 20, 2011 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with the funeral service to follow at 7:00p.m..

All services will be held in the Main Chapel at the Ridgelawn Funeral Home, 4201 West Ridge Road, Gary, In.
(219 980-5555.

Christian will be deeply missed by his family and dear friends. God Grant Him Eternal Rest. Donations may be
made in care of Ridgelawn Funeral Home.

Published in The Times on May 15, 2011

UPDATE:


In January of 2011, Riley Choate, who was 40 years old, was sentenced to 80 years in prison for what he did to Christian. After he had originally plead not guilty, a deal was made to reduce the time he would spend in prison and he ended up pleading guilty to felony neglect of a dependent causing death, moving a body after death and not allowing Christina, Christian's sister, to get an education. Riley's original sentence was to be 120 years. Luckily, this man was not able to figure out that either way, he's never getting out alive. Kimberly Kubina got a reduced sentence of only 25 to 35 years after agreeing to cooperate and testify against Riley.

Update: February 19, 2013

The stepmother of Christian Choate was sentenced Tuesday morning to 35 years in prison in the 2009 neglect and death of the 13-year-old boy. Kimberly Kubina, 47, of Gary, Ind., pleaded guilty in May to felony neglect in Christian's death, a story that attracted national headlines for its gruesomeness, the Northwest Indiana Times reports. On Tuesday, Kubina said she was "remorseful" for Christian's death, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In November of 2013, Christian finally got a headstone through generous donations from family, friends and strangers.



Death Occurred in the state of Indiana

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