Christopher Valdez hid underneath a table in terror. The boy must have known that he was no match for his mother’s boyfriend, Cesar Ruiz, who was hunting after him. In a fit of rage, Ruiz thrashed the room. Glass shattered. A telephone flew across the room. The boy’s mother, Crystal, sat in the corner crying. His 5-year-old sister, Christine, watched, helpless.
Christopher died later that November day, and unfortunately his story is not unique. The Chicago Reporter found that between fiscal years 2000 and 2011, 223 children were killed after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had investigated their cases for alleged abuse or neglect.
To read more about our in-depth investigation, visit The Chicago Reporter’s web site here.