28-year old mother Crystal Valdez and her boyfriend 34-year old Cesar Ruiz were each charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide in the death of Valdez’s son, Christopher in South Chicago. Christoper was found fatally beaten on his fourth birthday.
The boy, Christopher Valdez died of multiple blunt force injuries from child abuse and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
He was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m. Friday at Holy Cross Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Officials said the boy had been dead for several hours before emergency crews were called.
He had been subject to repeated abuse by the two. In fact last month, Valdez had been found guilty of domestic battery for a beating in July that left Christopher with a black eye, swelling and bruises. She was given a conditional 1-year sentence and asked to take parenting classes. Surprisingly, Christopher was still left in her custody as Illinois Department of Children and Family Services found the allegations of abuse were “unfounded.”
On Thanksgiving, relatives noticed Christopher had a swollen eye and bruises on his body and was throwing up, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Maureen Hughes said.
When Valdez’s brother and sister-in-law went to Valdez’s home in the 5100 block of South Trumbull Avenue on Friday, they found Christopher dead, under a blanket, with “bruises all over his body” that had been covered up with makeup, Hughes said.
“(Valdez) started yelling that (Ruiz) did it,” Hughes said. “(Ruiz) then said he was sorry.”
Ruiz admitted in a videotaped statement to police that he grabbed the boy, spanked him and hit him in the side several times, then covered the boy’s injuries with makeup, Hughes said. Valdez also admitted that she hit her son and said she had seen her boyfriend hitting Christopher and “kneeing him in the stomach repeatedly” on Thanksgiving and again Friday.
Despite being charged with abuse a month before, why was Christopher was still allowed to stay with the mother? What did the 4-year old kid do to deserve this?