GARY | A mother of two boys moved by the death of Christian Choate is organizing a candlelight vigil Friday to remember the boy and raise awareness about child abuse.
Police exhumed a body believed to be Christian last week from a shallow grave beneath a slab of concrete in a mobile home park near Colfax Avenue and Ridge Road in Gary.
His father and stepmother have been charged with beating, neglecting, confining and murdering him.
"We're not going to let this happen to another kid. We're not going to turn our heads any more. This community turns its head to a lot of things," said Nicole Hubbard, 30, a lifelong Black Oak neighborhood resident.
Christian's body is believed to have been buried for two years before police were tipped to the boy's disappearance by a family member.
His death was ruled a homicide, and the Lake County coroner's office said he suffered blunt force trauma to the body, a fractured skull and internal bleeding before he died.
"A lot of people are just saddened," Hubbard said. "We've cried, and I don't even know the little boy. It just hits home when you have kids."
The vigil is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Calumet High School, 3900 Calhoun St., Gary.