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.
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."
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.
this article really struck a chord with me and i can't seem to get it out of my mind. do i have any solutions, any explanations, any wise words that can offer any sense of hope? no. i have nothing but raw, seething, anger. and great sadness and remorse for christian. anger towards riley, the father, whose job it was to care for and protect christian, to make sure that none of this kind of abuse was to happen to him. anger towards rest of the family for not seeing a way to help christian escape his torture. anger towards all of humanity for being capable of and giving into such barbarity, anger at an omniscient and omnipotent god who allegedly created us, who should have known how we'd turn out, and yet created us so, human. angry at myself because i can do nothing to stop this. how can we humans do this to children, to other races, other nationalities, and sleep at night? how can we go to our churches, temples, mosques, and live, and face ourselves and god? how can god live with himself? and the parents had the nerve to name him christian? how do you say i'm sorry to a 13 year old who died never knowing a moment of happiness, of love? who lived every moment of his life wondering why was he born and why won't he die? why won't someone help him, love him? yes, i am a cynic. yes, i am a pessimist. and to my dying day, i hope and pray, and will cheer, the end of human beings. when we can do this to each other, we have no reason to exist.