The Gary Post-Tribune.
The call came from the home of Gary, Indiana resident Aimee Estrada. Estrada, biological
mother of 13-year-old Christian Choate, who had disappeared two years earlier told cops that she’d just found out that her son was, in fact dead, and that his body was buried somewhere in Colfax mobile home park.
One detective said: "It’s unbelievable that this actually happened to a child who looked like that. This kid lived a life of hell."
Before Eaton returned home there were more calls – this time from Christian County in Kentucky. Christina Choate, Christian’s older sister also called police with information. It was a clear break in a case gone hopelessly stale; the calls were genuine and Eaton immediately sprang into action.
He insisted on radio silence, telling dispatchers to ‘hold your traffic’ while he went about building a plan. Eaton, a veteran of the LCSD, knew that it was vital to halt radio communications in case word got out about the burial site.
Eaton put together an experienced team of a dozen officers to search the area and brought in veteran detectives Jeff Minchuk and Michelle Weaver to work the case. However, it wasn’t going to be easy.
It was a pitch black night and the area in question was a massive ten acres in size. Cops worked hard, trying to uncover as much as possible – but with no success.
In the meantime, cops arrested Christian’s stepmother, Kimberly Leona Kubina on foot of an outstanding arrest warrant. Kubina was brought in for questioning and it didn’t take long before she lawyered up.
Riley Lowell Choate, Christian’s father –also had outstanding warrants and was brought in for questioning the next day. That questioning lead to what cops called “real solid information” and a search warrant was issued for an area close to the alleged burial site.
On Wednesday, May 4th, Christian Choate’s body was discovered in a shallow grave close to where the Choate family once lived, almost two years after he went missing. It didn’t take long before details surfaced about sickening cruelty that Christian allegedly endured at the hands of Riley Choate and Kubina. According to cops Christian was treated worse than a dog – he was forced to sleep naked in a cage, was handcuffed to a bedpost and was beaten mercilessly.
The beatings were so severe that he suffered a fractured skull and massive internal bleeding. The trials of Choate and Kubina are still in the preliminary states and have been plagued by delays.
The next scheduled court date is July 05th, 2011.