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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Boy, 13, ‘Kept in Dog Cage and Beaten to Death by Parents’

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:45 PM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A boy of 13 who died in a dog cage after years of alleged abuse by his parents wrote letters from the squalid prison about how he wanted his life to end.

Christian Choate wrote: ‘I want to die’ on the paper given to him by his stepmother to scribble down how he felt.
In the handwritten notes, he said he simply wanted to be liked by his family in Gary, Indiana – even if they were ‘abusing’ him.
The disturbing letters emerged as child protection authorities admitted to a catalogue of errors in the years before Christian died.
His father was accused of attacking him the year before he took sole custody of the teenager. After that, the alleged abuse only got worse.
Christian’s body was recovered last month from a shallow grave in a trailer park near Gary, Indiana where he once lived with his family.
It is thought he could have been there for two years after his father Riley Choate moved the family away and warned them not to tell anyone what had happened.
He and Christian’s stepmother Kimberly Kubina now face a string of charges including murder, neglect and obstruction of justice.
They have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
The letters, released by the Indiana Department of Child Services, show the teenager spent most of his last year in a three-foot high dog cage.
Christian writes how he had to steal food when he was hungry because his family allegedly would not feed him.
He would only be let out to clean the house and was almost never allowed outside.
His sole means of entertainment appears to have been a pencil and pieces of paper given to him by his stepmother.
‘Christian wrote of why nobody liked him and how he just wanted to be liked by his family,’ DCS records state, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
‘Christian stated that he wanted to die because nobody liked the way he ‘acted.’
The records continue: ‘Christian’s writings detail a very sad, depressed child who often wondered when someone, anyone, was going to come check on him and give him food or liquid. Christian often stated he was hungry or thirsty.’
‘Christian’s writings detail a very sad, depressed child who often wondered when someone, anyone, was going to come check on him and give him food or liquid’
Some of Christian’s writings were random but the records show that Kubina would give him ‘homework’ assignments with disturbing titles.
They included ‘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?’
Christian died in early 2009 of blunt force trauma injuries and a skull fracture.
Police claim his father buried him in a shallow grave, covered it with concrete and moved away.
Newly released DCS records show that Choate was a known abuser who was nonetheless allowed to keep custody of his son.
In August 2004 he was accused of abusing Christian, but no proof was found so the boy remained in his home.
The same month, however, he was found to have physically abused his wife’s nieces while living with them and was cited by the DCS for ‘inappropriate discipline’.
In the years before Christian’s death, records show there were eight instances of alleged abuse in houses where his family had lived.
DCS spokesman Ann Houseworth said: ‘With regard to this case, DCS did everything it legally could to ensure the well-being of these children at the time of our interactions with the family’.’

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