Christopher Manuel Valdez
November 25, 2007 - November 25, 2011
For Thanksgiving, while families and loved ones come together to be thankful for what we all have, Christopher sat at the table unable to eat. His face was covered by a hooded sweatshirt. He was beaten and bruised so bad he was vomiting, and couldn’t eat. The next morning, his birthday, Christopher would be found dead. Christopher was beat to death on his fourth birthday.
First Responders were called to the 5100 block of South Trumbell Avenue in Gage Park, Chicago, Illinois. Police believed Christopher was dead for several hours before they arrived at the home. It appeared he died from “multiple blunt force trauma”. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where Christopher was pronounced dead.
Christopher’s uncle found his body. The Chicago Tribune reports. Valdez's brother and sister-in-law testified at trial in September they had gone to check on Christopher after a neighbor of the boy’s family called, worried about him. After pushing their way past Valdez into the tiny coach house, they spotted the boy’s body covered in bruises and wrapped in a blanket.
Christopher’s uncle’s wife, also a witness to finding him deceased, explains. "I pulled it, the cover flipped over and Christopher was lying there on his side, his eyes open," testified Katrine Valdez, her words now nearly unintelligible as she broke down in the Cook County courtroom. "I laid him on his back. ... And I said, 'What did you do? What did you do?'"
The 911 call recorded Crystal in the background screaming “I killed him, my Christopher.” Both the mother, Crystal and her boyfriend Cesar Ruiz, 34 were both charged with First Degree Murder, Child Endangerment and Concealment of a Homicide.
The coroner reportedly stated Christopher died some time between 2:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. He died of multiple blunt force traumas and listed the cause of death a homicide.
There were many signs of Christopher’s abuse. The Chicago Tribune reports.
Throughout the trial, witnesses testified about red-flags leading up to Christopher’s death. At a baby shower, family members noticed Christopher had a black eye that had crudely been covered with makeup. A neighbor said she had seen Valdez, a mother of four, slap the boy’s face.
On Thanksgiving 2011, the day before the boy was found dead, Valdez lifted up Christopher’s shirt to show his torso covered in bruises, according to testimony.
An incident that previous summer sent Christopher to the hospital with an enormous bump on his head and bruises all over his body. Valdez insisted to a nurse those were mosquito bites.
After that incident, less than five months before Christopher’s death, Valdez admitted to a police detective that she had hit the boy. She was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery that fall.
The mother and her boyfriend were tried in separate trials, both blaming each other for Christopher’s death.
The mother’s dad had custody of her three other children. Chicago Tribune reports. “She did nothing wrong,’’ Valdez, his arms folded in front of him and staring straight ahead with dark sunglasses on, said of his daughter. “She’s innocent in my eyes.’’
The mother’s boyfriend Cesar Ruiz was found guilty of murder in 2013 and sentenced to seventy-five years in prison.
Crystal Valdez was found guilty of First Degree Murder. It took an hour for the jury to decide.
Chicago Tribune reported on her brother’s statement to her in the court. “You don’t deserve the title of mother,” he told his sister, his voice shaking with emotion. “You’re a monster.”
July 1, 2011 Christopher was taken to Hope Children’s Hospital emergency room. He showed multiple injuries, but the mother told the Doctor he fell off a patio table on to the cement ground and hit his head.
The Doctor who saw the signs, contacted DCFS.
Crystal admitted to police she had beaten Christopher. She was charged.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services saw the allegations of abuse against Christopher which resulted as the common, “unfounded” and continued to allow Christopher to live with his mother.
They cleared the mother of abuse even though she was awaiting court for abuse charges against her. The DCFS report showed Crystal left Christopher unattended. No further action was taken by DCFS. The judge in this incident kept her out of jail and ordered her to anger management counseling and parenting classes. She had no prior charges of child abuse.
By July 20, 2011, Crystal was in the clear. DCFS, case closed. Christopher was back with Crystal.
Christopher M. Valdez, age 4, gone to be with the Lord on Friday, November 25, 2011 and is playing in God's garden.
Loving grandson of Thomas (Mary) Valdez; baby brother of Geovany, Cindy, and Christina Marroquin; adored nephew of the late Thomas, Jr., Joseph (Katrine) and Benjamin Valdez; cherished great grandson of Santiago (the late Jean) Valdez and Hermanjaldo (the late Eugina) Rios; a great nephew to many great aunts, great uncles and a cousin to many.
Visitation Friday 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. at
Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors
3600 W. 95th Street
Funeral Saturday 11:00 a.m. at Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors Chapel.
FACEBOOK PAGE FOR CHRISTOPHER