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Moms Talk: How Could Something Like This Happen?

13-year-old Christian Choate dies in a dog cage after years of neglect and abuse, leaves behind writings about wanting to die.

Mom's talk question: How does something like this happen without anyone doing something to stop it?

The world doesn't make sense to me. When I read the story of Christian Choate, a 13-year-old boy who was abused, neglected and left to die in a dog cage, I wondered who could do that to an innocent child who just wanted to be liked?

But there were people along the way who could have done something. Spoken up. Something. And didn't.

According to this Chicago Tribune article, a pediatrician had in his notes that the boy was being locked up at night, was hit in the head with a door and said he felt angry all the time, but never reported abuse to authorities. School officials lost track of him after being told he was being homeschooled.

Was what happened to Christian an unfortunate case of a child slipping through the cracks or does it say something about today's society? If he'd gotten a different doctor, had nosier neighbors or a teacher who pursued his withdrawal from school, his life could have been much different.

Nowadays, how many people stand up when they see a wrong being committed? How many people take a few minutes out of their day to help someone else? What has your experience been? Tell us what you think.

Larissa July 03, 2011 at 04:38 AM
There were neighbors that spoke up. Child Protective did not even enter the house, they came to the front door. The boy was locked in the basement. The family that had sold the Choates the dog cage, thinking it was for a dog, were the ones who called Child Protective after the husband went in the basement and saw the boy being abused. They called twice. They later moved away and when they were tracked down and the authorities told the woman that this poor child had died, she cried. There is no "Child Protective" agency in these United States that actually protects children. Look at poor Jaycee Dugard and how that ball was dropped. I can tell you my own story. My pediatrician and a therapist both wrote letters to the State of Maryland CPS, and nothing was followed up on. I just don't let my kids go back to their father's house because evil goes on there. This boy deserved a decent life and to be treated with kindness and love, not the hideous cruelty he got. And yes, lock up that irresponsible pediatrician. He does not care for children.
Larissa July 03, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Might I add further that his older sister was ordered to hurt him and participated in the violence. She reported his death to the mother and that is why it ever was investigated to begin with. That teenage girl will need years of therapy because she has committed violent acts upon a sibling at the behest of the father and stepmother, and now may either be violent herself or living with guilt and shame. Either way, she needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional. The people who caused this crime are the worst of the worst.
christine July 09, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Riley Choate is a sad excuse for a father and we can only hope that they charge Kim Kubina with the same crimes. Kubina did nothing to stop the child abuse from happening and she is threrefore just as guilty. The sister, Christina, would apparently beat poor Christian for "mouthing off" and choke him until he would turn blue. She was only 15 at the time and because i do not know the extent of physical abuse that she herself may have endured, i will not fault her for not allerting authorities/ teacher/friend regarding the incident. These violent acts were learned behavior, but at her age, she is old enough to distinguish right from wrong. According to the reports, no one was standing over her forcing her to beat him was a metal pole and choke him until he turned blue. She took it upon her self to follow daddy's footsteps. I feel bad for all of the children who were forced to live in such a dysfunctional home, but concurrently, I also find her accountable for his death being that she was apparently the last to deliver the final blow before his untimely death.
christine July 09, 2011 at 04:51 PM
Even more, the biological mother, Aimee Estrada, should be ashamed of herself for not once trying to contact her child since 2005. Even without custody, does this excuse you from any and all parenting duties? Did you not call your children to wish them a happy birthday or a merry Christmas even once during that 4-5 year time frame?! I know she herself was abused before she got out of the relationship, but despite her situation, she allowed her innocent children to stay in the abusive home. Even worse, she didn't bother to call/hear her child's voice to ensure his safety even once. Had she atleast called once during that 4 year span, she would have realized that her son had been missing for over two years, and could have allerted authorities, filed a missing person report and gotten the investigation going. A mother is always accountable for her child's whereabouts. She has failed as a parent. This whole situation is beyond sad, but luckily, Christian is up in Heaven now where he can feel no more pain.
Kisha Wheatcraft-Woodward July 13, 2011 at 04:23 AM
There was a younger sister...was she abused like Christian?

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