May 11, 2011

Riley Choate And Kimberly Kubina - Caged Son Like Animal, Punished Him To Death, Entombed His Body In Concrete So "He Couldn't Move"

Gary, Indiana (The Weekly Vice) - Riley Choate, 39 and ex-wife Kimberly Kubina, 45, have been charged with murder after the remains of a 13-year-old boy who spent more than a year locked in a dog cage was discovered in a shallow grave at a local motor home park.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, an investigation was launched last week after the little boy's 17-year-old sister informed them that she had information about her younger brother, Christian Choate, who disappeared more than two years ago.

Christian Choate, who was just 13-years-old at the time he was murdered, went largely unnoticed for two years while his father and stepmother vowed to keep his death a secret that they would "take to the grave," according to the arrest report.

That secret became a murder investigation after the boy's sister told her biological mother, Aimee Estrada, what had happened to her brother, and the mother went to authorities with the information. We'll note here that the biological mother reportedly gave up custody rights to her son and daughter in 2005.

Now an investigation has revealed that the boy was abused for years until he was beaten to death in April, 2009 and then entombed in a slab of concrete to ensure "he couldn't move."

Investigators say Christian was forced to live in a dog cage, deprived of food and clothed with nothing more than a diaper for at least a year prior to his death.

When he was allowed out of the cage, he was often chained to a bed frame, beaten with a metal pole in the face and head, forced to endure ice baths, and choked repeatedly until he turned purple.

On one occasion Kubina reportedly told the girl "He needs to be locked up, he's a dog."

Christian's sister, who was 15-years-old at the time, told investigators that it was her job to feed, exercise and punish Christian. She told investigators that her father and step-mother forced her to beat and choke Christian until he turned blue in the face. She also stated that she was ordered to videotape the assault, but that Riley Choate later recorded over it.

The abuse came to a head on April 4, 2009, when Christian refused or was unable to take in food. Investigators say Riley Choate "became enraged and punched him with full force several times in the front, side and back of his head before throwing him back in the cage," according to the arrest report.

After the beating, Christian's sister was directed to check on her brother every five minutes. When she checked on him the next morning (April 5), she found that he was not breathing. When Christian's father and step-mother refused to help the boy, the sister stated that she used an air pump in an attempt to resuscitate him.

Christian's sister told authorities that she watched as her father and step-mother wrapped Christian in plastic bags, placed his body in a plastic tote bin, loaded him into a van and drove off.

When the couple returned, they told the girl that Christian had been buried and then covered with concrete "so he couldn't get out." stated the arrest report. Christian's death was not reported and the couple explained Christian's disappearance by telling neighbor's that the boy had run away.

Following Christian's death, Kubina allegedly gathered all of the children living in the trailer and told them that Christian had run away stating: "This is a family thing. This goes to the grave."

Christian's death went unreported for the next two years until the Sheriff's Office received a call from the boy's biological mother. Deputies arrested Riley Choate, who led detectives to Christian's body.

Investigators also recovered the dog cage that Christian spent the last year of his life in.

Lake County coroners haven't yet released the cause of death but have ruled the case a homicide, citing blunt force trauma and internal bleeding at the time of his death.

Riley Choate and Kimberly Kubina (the couple split up following Christian's death) were booked into the Lake County Jail on charges of murder, neglect, battery, criminal confinement and failing to report a death. Bail has been denied.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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