$50,000 Bail for Man Who Hid Dead Son

Riley Choate charged with burying body, neglecting to notify authorities of son's death

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Riley Choate

    A Gary, Ind., father on Friday was ordered held on $50,000 bail on charges he buried his son and neglected to tell authorities about the body.

    Riley Choate, 39, was charged Thursday with covering up the death, including removal of a body from a death scene, failure to notify about a body at a death scene and failure to report discovery of a body. Authorities said he has an "extensive" criminal record, including battery and harassment convictions.

    He admitted this week that he'd wrapped the body of his son, Christian Choate, in plastic, put him in a shallow grave and covered the body with concrete.  He denied killing his son, however.

    For two years, Riley Choate told neighbors and relatives his son had run away.  Christian Choate was never officially reported missing, and his biological mother, who'd given up custody several years ago, reportedly never knew her son was dead.

    An autopsy showed the boy died from "sustained blunt force trauma to his body with internal bleeding and a skull fracture," court records state. His death has been ruled a homicide.

    Lake County, Ind., authorities are continuing their investigation in Hopkinsville, Ky., where the boy's biological sister lives.  Riley Choate's live-in girlfriend at the time of the boy's death, 45-year-old Kimberly Choate, was in custody in Kentucky on Thursday on an outstanding theft warrant in that state.

    Authorities said they expect the charges against Choate to be upgraded.  There may also be more arrests, they said.