New and more detailed information has been discovered about how long and painfully seven year old Christian Choate suffered before his parents killed him in his cage.

Blaming social workers is the first and most common reaction we have. After 12 years of working alongside the folks that try to provide a safety net for our weakest and most vulnerable citizens, I don’t believe this is fair or a productive response.

Like blaming teachers for failing schools; teachers have not gotten worse over the last twenty years. The population of abused and troubled children has grown exponentially. These children are hard to manage, let alone educate.

Social workers in a growing number of states are barely able to visit the worst of the worst cases anymore due to giant caseloads. Training is minimal and resources are scarce. Minnesota responds to one out of three reports today. A few years ago two out of three calls were responded to.

We only read about the babies found in dumpsters, or other violent child deaths. NO one reports the thousands of children sexually abused, beaten, or starved.

I know too many of these children & it is a dark stain on America that explains overflowing prisons, failing schools, and unsafe cities.

This nations would save money by funding child protection and copying the Missouri Miracle of a few years ago (in its treatment of juvenile offenders). Until then, we will read about more unbearable tragedy & worry about being downtown after dark.

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Huffington Post 6.26.11

Christian Choate, Boy Who Died Locked In Cage, Wrote About Abuse And Desire To Die

Records of the Indiana Department of Child Services reveal that Christian Choate, a boy who authorities claim lived locked in a cage and died from savage abuse, wrote letters describing his situation and saying that he wanted to die.

According to the Chicago Tribune, DCS visited with the Choate family in Gary, Indiana more than a dozen times starting in 1999, investigating allegations of abuse and neglect. Authorities never discovered what prosecutors claim was the true depth of the misery in which young Christian lived.

Based on accounts from his sister and stepsister, Christian, who died in 2009 at age 13, spent much of the last year of his life locked in a three-foot-high dog cage, with little food and drink and few opportunities to leave. When he did get out of the cage, he endured savage beatings from his father Riley.

One night in April of 2009, Christian was too weak to keep his food down. His father allegedly beat him to the point of unconsciousness, then locked his limp body in the cage.

The next morning, his sister Christina found him dead.

According to investigators, Riley then buried the boy in a shallow grave, covered his body in concrete, and moved with Christina to Kentucky, where he threatened to harm her if she ever told anyone about his death. It would be two years before his body was found.

One of the reasons his absence wasn’t noticed was that his stepmother, Kimberly Kubina, took him out of school, saying that he was being home-schooled.

The extent of that homeschooling was revealed in some letters found by DCS. When other children were out playing, Kubina would give Christian paper and tell him to write.

“Christian wrote of why nobody liked him and how he just wanted to be liked by his family,” a DCS document wrote, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Christian stated that he wanted to die because nobody liked the way he ‘acted.’ 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.”

In a still more disturbing twist, the Northwest Indiana Times reveals some of the assignments his stepmother gave:

Kubina wrote topics on top of some of the pages including, “Why do you want to play with your peter? Why do you still want to see your mom? Why can’t you let the past go? What does it mean to be part of a family?” DCS records state.

Riley Choate and Kimberly Kubina have been charged with murder, battery, neglect of a dependent, confinement, obstruction of justice, moving a body from a death scene and failure to notify authorities of a dead body. They have both pleaded not guilty.

* authors note; Before blaming teachers, social workers, or cops for the awful things that appear in the press, spend a month or two in their shoes. Get to know one, or volunteer to work with them in some capacity (you will get a deeper understanding of the issues that just can’t be found otherwise).

4 Comments

  1. This is truly disgraceful.. how did christian choate slip through the system. he was writing letters and child protective services did nothing ! THIS IS UNACEPTABLE ! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES DCS. obviously your system of follow through needs to be revamped.. child abuse and abuse in general should be a FELONY CHARGE !

  2. This does not surprise me in the least. For the last 12 years my grandson has been abused by his father, and numerous reports by school counselors, doctors, nurses and others have resulted in “unsubstantiated” reports. All the father has to do is lie about it. This is after the father stood up in “family court” and admitted to being a danger to both my daughter and my grandson, and was still given visitation. Even though he was a person of interest in a murder, has been arrested for dealing drugs, uses drugs regularly, and continues to abuse his sons, he was actually granted custody! We’ve GOT to stop this insanity. It won’t end until my grandson kills him or he kills my grandson. Then it will be on the front page of the Indianapolis News.

  3. Have lived through hell here in Jasper County Indiana at the hands of such a corrupt sheriff and courts. It started 4 years ago when my wife of 46 years and I were told we have NO RIGHTS. I was ordered to disable all alarms even smoke detectors and threatened with jail for security cameras from the DA. My wife completed suicide on 26 June 2010 telling me she no longer could live like this. They are still trying to get me they have since returned the gun she used in hopes I will use it too. The funny thing is they once told me to get a carry permit for they have tried to run me down on the road. Here is the double standard rule I was turn down as defined by IC 35-47-1-7 they say I have a popensity for vilent or emotionally unstable conduct. I have never threatened anyone but honor my wife with crosses this is disturbing to purjurers IC 35-44-2-1 and causing suicide IC 35-42-2 and criminal solicitation on the part of a few. Double standard of the law here they tried to burn us out once but I know someday they will kill me next. My advise never come to Indiana

  4. I like to add a different outlook from a blog I wrote on my web site about:

    “Changing one Perception in protecting a child”
    There have been so many motivational speakers like Dr. Wayne Dyer who talk about “power of intention”: “you are what you think about”, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”, “A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe”, “Our intention creates our reality”; all of these are being taught to individuals for their future way of thinking. Why can’t we move this type of thinking into a group environment?

    Take Louise Hay’s movie for example, “you can heal your life movie” it is packed with many motivational speakers, scientists, mediums, spiritual beings, doctors, etc. with all of them proving how powerful our brain is if we are aware of our thoughts in a positive way.

    If I had the authority, I would go through all child protective service departments and fire everyone who have only one concern in mind, how can we receive the money? Or – there is no need to read court orders! Or – I do things my way! Or – this is only a job! Or – we have to evaluate this child to see if he or she is abused and neglected enough before acting because of lack of money!

    Alright, I do not have the authority, I am not a judge, lawyer or a psychologist and I know the people in charge of child services reading this are probably laughing at me right now. But seriously, how many children need to die before these people wake up to what they are not doing which is to protect the children. I do understand that in many cases it is the parents who are being selfish, abusive, ridiculous animals. But then if they continue to allow these children to remain in that abuse, who really is to blame? Also, when you remove a child illegally just to put them into an abusive foster care, who really is to blame?

    With my personal experience and research I’ve seen too many times the wrong that is happening in the system. There are many web sites exposing what is truly going on across the world with child services and yet there seems to be no reform. For example; if you open up http://www.suncanaa.com and http://www.invisiblechildren.org among many, it would bring any person with a heart to tears.

    Now, I know there is within these services the opposite of the coin, where you can find people who really care and are trying to do whatever is possible to protect those children. But they keep finding many things that get in their way leaving them with the feeling that they are losing the battle. I’ve seen some who are simply just afraid of going against certain policies or certain people in charge. There are some judges, directors, coordinators in other counties who are doing what is right in protecting children, but with so much wrong going on globally, it is hard to find these great caring people.

    For example, with the worry of not enough money available, let’s take a different approach like all the Dr. Wayne Dyers’ doers – If a child is fiercely beaten, don’t be concerned with how much money is available but be overly concerned with removing that child from the abuse with a knowing that the money will arrive at the perfect time as needed. Basically start believing in more than yourselves, believe in a higher consciousness that will supply you with what is needed. Create energy of positive change flowing in a direction as if you already have the money.

    Let’s change the thinking of each person to find that purpose of saving another child’s life.

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