Christopher M. Valdez
November 25, 2007 - November 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial

Imagine it's your birthday. You should be surrounded by family and friends, getting ready to have cake, play games and open presents. It's your fourth birthday and you should be happy and healthy and ready to celebrate. Instead, your Aunt and Uncle have been notified that you attended a Thanksgiving dinner with a black eye, so they go your house to check on you and be sure you are okay. Your mother has been previously charged with domestic battery for punching you because she was angry, she then tried to cover your bruises with make up. In fact, it was only one month prior that she had done this to you.

Judge James Patrick Murphy found it appropriate to ONLY make her go to parenting classes as punishment for what she did to you. CPS decided that there was a lack of evidence and you were forced to stay with your mother. Some of your other family members even questioned the decision, but were helpless to do anything. You stayed with your mother and on your fourth birthday, your mother and her boyfriend, beat you to death.

Cesar Ruiz was originally the only one charged with first degree murder in the beating death of Christopher Valdez. The charges filed against him included first degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death. Oddly, Cesar was also charged with having an expired drivers license. The woman who gave birth to this little Angel, Crystal Valdez, was originally charged with concealment of a homicide death and with endangering the life of a child. When police discovered that she had watched Cesar beat her son on other occasions and had also helped in beating him, she was charged with first degree murder. Two weeks before he beat Christopher to death, Cesar had beaten the family dog for peeing in the house. No one had called police to report the abuse of the animal, not even other family members who knew about it. If someone had reported it, Cesar could have been in jail for that crime, which is a felony in Chicago and Christopher could still be alive today.

Christopher's Uncle told police:

"My niece's boyfriend beat the baby to death and I don't know exactly what happened.
I've never met the man"

Tom Valdez, Christopher's Grandfather, told reporters that Christopher was a happy child who loved Spiderman:

"He also had this little rabbit that he would squeeze and it would sing a song. He would  walk
around with it all day. I'm devastated, I miss him very much"

Christopher's relatives had been ready to celebrate his fourth birthday with presents and a cake. Crystal's
family said they received a call from her that day asking for help. When he arrived, Christopher's Uncle had an altercation with Cesar and had to restrain him. Crystal's brother and sister-in-law were told that the children were not at home and Crystal tried to keep them out. Katrine forced he way into the house and saw her five year old niece laying on the floor by a rolled up comforter:

"The house was in disarray. It was as if she was packing to leave the apartment. They
were ready to leave"

Crystal tried to stop Katrine from going into the bedroom with the rolled up comforter. Katrine was able to get
past her and when she pulled back the comforter, she found Christopher's bruised, lifeless body. Crystal was
quick to place blame:

"She pointed to the boyfriend and said it was him. The boyfriend pointed out the
Crystal was involved"

Katrine Valdez

Joe Valdez had a "physical altercation" with Cesar and then called 911. When Paramedics arrived, they tried to revive Christopher, they were not successful. Katrine said that he had been beaten from head to toe and she could see the the bruises had been covered with makeup. Family members say that Cesar has caused a lot of problems and they don't understand how anyone could do what he did, they are in shock by what has happened to Christopher. One of Christopher's sisters asked if he was dead and all her Grandfather could
do was tell her no.

Paramedics were called and they noticed that Christopher's body had makeup on his face and arms and that it had been used in an attempt to cover bruises. An autopsy revealed that Christopher had died from multiple blunt for trauma and child abuse.

Cesar Ruiz, who was 34 at the time, was held on $2.5 million bond and Crystal, who was 28 at the time, was held on $750,000. bond.

In a court hearing, Caroline Glennon, assistant to the public defender who was representing Crystal, stated that Crystal had special needs due to having lead poisoning as a child and that she was no longer with Cesar. Crystal cried in court and said to her family members:

"I didn't do anything"

Upon hearing his bond amount, Cesar showed no emotion at all. Maria Castillo, Cesar's sister said she didn't understand why his bail was higher than Crystal's since she was the one with a file at CPS for abusing her son. Well, your brother beat a four year old boy to DEATH, on his birthday, that means he's gone forever. No more birthdays for Christopher. I agree that Crystal should have had a higher bond, but to question why Cesar's was so high is ridiculous.

Maria also said she didn't understand why Crystal has been allowed to continue to raise her children after the incident:

"Why the children were given back to her, I have no idea. It's beyond me"
"I want justice for my nephew"
Joe Valdez

The biological father of Crystals children said:

"Me and her really didn't have that great communication because she was mad, kind of
always mad and had a bad attitude. I always avoided that'


Christopher Valdez

Valdez, Christopher M. Age 4, gone to be with the Lord on Friday, November 25, 2011 and is playing in God's garden.

Loving grandson of Thomas (Mary) Valdez; baby brother of Geovany, Cindy, and Christina Marroquin adored nephew of the late Thomes, Jr.,  Joseph (Katherine) and Benjamin Valdez, cherished great grandson of Santiago (the late Jean) Valdez and Hermanjaldo (the late Eugina) Rios; a great nephew to many great aunts, great uncles and a cousin to many.

Visitation Friday 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. at Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors 3600 W. 95th Street Evergreen Park. Funeral Saturday 11:00 a.m. at Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors Chapel.

An After Thought?

Top Cook County Official Says Its "Crazy 4-Year Old Was Returned To Mom"
Wednesday, 30 Nov, 2011
Fox Chicago News

Chicago - Cook Country's top child welfare official said a tragic child abuse case was terribly mishandled,using the term "crazy" to describe what happened to Christopher Valdez, 4.

Valdez was beaten to death last week. His mother, Crystal Valdez and her boyfriend, Cesar Ruiz, are charged with his murder.

Cook Country Public Guardian Robert Harris told the Chicago Sun-Times the boy should not have been returned to his mom following her criminal conviction for battering him last month.

The DCFS inspector general is now probing the state agency's handling of the case.

Site creators note:
I wish that these people who are paid to protect children would think of these things BEFORE these children
end up suffering for so long and then dying at the hands of people who are going to end up killing them. It
can be seen very clearly, by the news reports and sites on line, that it is NOT in the best interest of the
children to return them to their abusers. History shows that these children end up dead or abused over and
over again. If I can see that, why is it so hard for those who SUPPOSEDLY have the education and the
experience requited to protect these little Angels?


Today is June 16, 2014 and while searching for updates on Christopher's case I found the following information:

In October of 2013 Cesar Ruiz, who was 36 years old at the time was convicted of first degree murder. When the verdict was read, he exhaled and shook his head. The week before he had demonstrated in court how he had tried to hide the bruises on Christopher using makeup. An autopsy done on Christopher showed he had 54 bruises and scrapes that went from his bottom to his head and that he was malnourished.

Cesar admitted that he has lost control on the night before Christopher was found dead, wrapped up on a comforter, beat him, slammed him into a wall.

It was reported that three months before his death, a call to The Department Of Children And Family Services had been made and a visit to the home didn't produce any evidence of child abuse, though Crystal had admitted she was facing criminal charges for having beat him, DCF allowed him to stay in the home.

Cook Country Public Guardian Robert Harris, the man whose office is responsible for any children in the care of the state said:

"It's absolutely insane what occurred in this case"

Of course it is, it's insane that a child was left in a home where his mother was facing criminal charges for beating him.

In court, Matthew McQuaid said that while his client had stayed in a bad relationship for too long, he had not killed Christopher. Prosecutors didn't agree and said he was a cold blooded killer who never shed a single tear as pictures of Christopher's injuries were shown:

"He's the worst kind of murderer, the kind that picks a four year old boy to be
his punching bag"
Assistant States Attorney - Lisa Longo

At the time of his trial, Crystal Valdez was still waiting for trial.

It was reported that Crystal was convicted of the charges she had been facing for abusing Christopher. Why wasn't he taken out of the home at the time? Crystal didn't spend a single day in jail for that conviction.

Below is a comment that was made by Christopher's Aunt, she made the comment on a news story site:

I had to share this with you. It was only after the news coverage being wrong for peace of mind and for Christopher's story to be told truthfully I had to share and putting unanswered questions to rest. This was our statement to detectives…..this was the true events of today regarding Christopher’s beating death. My husband & I went to the house because I received a call this morning from a neighbor in front MaryLou who had spent Thanksgiving with them. She said earlier in the day when she was at Crystal’s house Crystal had him in the corner for over an hour where Christopher fell asleep standing up. They later came to her house for dinner. She said the little boy was seen with a black eye and a hood sweater he couldn’t remove from his head because Crystal wouldn’t let him. Crystal made him sit close to her at all times at the table. I immediately called to have a child welfare check done at the home immediately after her call to me today for the first time. They didn’t open the doors for the detective when he got there. My husband & I unsure of the outcome from that call we went down to the house with his birthday gift I bought him several days before today. When we arrived we knocked, banged, even opened a screen window/door. But soon seen the dog come over. We were calling out for the mother by her name still no answer. When my husband tried being friendly with the dog he noticed his sister now walking over to the door. She answered saying she was asleep stretching out her arms in the air. I tried to gain access but she stayed in front of me. I asked about the children she told me they were with her boyfriends parents. I asked what she did for Thanksgiving she told me she was at her boyfriends parents house. Because of the call I received much earlier I knew immediately she was lying about where she spent Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, I used my body to kind of walk forward into the home calling my husband to follow behind me. Crystal asked what did I have in my hand I told her Christopher’s birthday gift. We proceeded to go into the home forcefully. I asked where was everyone and she said I told you the kids are with my boyfriends mom. I said and Cesar she said don’t bother him he’s asleep taking a nap. I seen two gymshoes hanging over the bed. I asked oh yeah as I walked closer to the room. Cesar then came out pretending he was sleeping also now. Trying to make small talk to my husband. I then seen my niece on the bed fully clothed even with a purple winter jacket on her and shoes. Christine was lying on a lump of covers it looked like…..Joe was off asking Cesar questions. As I went toward the room Crystal kept her arms stretched out across the door way of the room. Christine said, Tia and jumped off the bed over to me going underneath her mothers arms that were stretched across the doorway. I physically picked up Crystal’s hand moving it forcefully out of my way and walked into the room. I noticed the lump in the covers and when I grapped unto it it had a weight feeling. I yanked it over and Christopher was smoothed wrapped in a thick mexican bedcover. I immediately began screaming calling for Joe to come in the room. When he came in he hit his sister knocking her to the floor. She pointed saying he did it (her boyfriend). The boyfriend said so did you. They pointed back and forth yelling. Joe grabbed him beating him into the wall punching him over and over until he began choking him. I seen he was going to kill him and grabbed my husband away from him standing between them both. My husband called 911. I called Mary told her to come immediately she was at Kmart, I was crying scared and in disbelief. I called Tom told him to please come to Crystal’s house it’s Christopher. I had by then pulled Christophers lifeless body by his feet to the end of the bed. I tried CPR but, he was very stiff and extremely cold blue in all his face. I blew in and out……and the air came back out. I kept crying and trying to compose myself…..but there is nothing that prepares you for such a tragic event. My husband was on the 911 call repeating to me what they were saying to him. Joe then called his dad once more to see where he was and if he was near the house yet. Both Crystal and her boyfriend were arguing… crying at this time until she heard me say he’s dead Joe, he’s dead……..moments the police, paramedics, were all inside. Joe and I watched as they picked up Christophers lifeless body into their arms out of the house. Christopher never got to unwrap his remote control car of Spiderman we bought him for his birthday. I can’t sleep…..I see him the moment my eyes close. We will never be the same my husband and I. The craziest thing is before we left our home…..we were talking about the call I got…..I said let go down there with his gift Joe what do you think? The windchimes on my front porch where we were stopped quiet for a short time……real strange for us. But, it was enough for us to get spooked and go. But, nothing prepares you for a day like today. Our son Tommy was real close with him……he couldn’t say Christopher’s name well…….He would always say, Where’s Clifford at? He will be missed greatly by our family. Pray for our family…..pray for JUSTICE FOR CHRISTOPHER.

I think every child deserves an uncle and aunt like these two people!

UPDATE: November 19, 2014

I received an e-mail from Christophers Aunt Katrine who wanted to share her impact statement from court. I read the impact statement and realized that this woman had not taken the time to tell the people who took her nephew from her how much she hated them, she didn't cuss and scream and call them names. I would say that Katrine did Christopher proud when she told the world about HIM rather than allow the moment to be consumed by speaking about those who killed him. I read the impact statement and it made me proud of Katrine, she told Christopher's story and let us know WHO he had been, she let us know Christopher in a way most of the children on this site are never known because the focus gets lost on those who took these Angels away from those who loved them. I want to thank Katrine from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to get to know this handsome little man and sharing with all of us, what her world was like with him. God bless you and your family Katrine.

You can read the impact statement by clicking the link below.

Death occurred in the state of Illinois

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