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Body of boy, 13, found in concrete in Gary

Thursday, May 05, 2011
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A man has been charged in connection with his 13-year-old son's death two years ago.

Police found the badly composed body of Christian Choate buried under a concrete slab in a mobile home park in unincorporated Gary, Indiana on Wednesday. Autopsy results show the boy suffered blunt force trauma with internal bleeding and a skull fracture.

Investigators have charged Riley Choate, 39, with moving a body from a death scene, altering a body and failure to report a body. He has not been charged with murder.

"He thus far confessed to removing the body from one trailer, taking it across the street and burying the body," said Lake County Sheriff John Buncich. "Wrapped him in a blanket in plastic and buried him in a shallow grave underneath the shed and then put concrete on top of the body. He also indicated at the time that he put a Bible on the boy's chest."

According to Buncich, the boy's mother called 911 Sunday after she received the information from someone in Kentucky. The sheriff says the mother lost custody of the boy and his sister and had not seen them for six years.

"I don't know what kind of man this is that would do something like this to my brother," said Alyssa Nieto, Christian Choate's sister.

Neighbors and investigators say the boy had been missing for two years, but family members didn't file a missing person's report.

The boy's family moved to Kentucky and the new owner of the mobile home was unaware a body was buried on the property.

The sheriff says detectives are now en route to Kentucky to question other family members. He expects additional charges but not until the coroner's report is complete. That could take several weeks.

Riley Choate previously lived in Kentucky but had returned to the area. His partner is also in custody on another matter.

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