The mother of Christopher Valdez, the 4-year-old boy killed on his birthday last Friday in Chicago, has been charged alongside her boyfriend in her son's death.
Crystal Valdez, 28, was charged with the concealment of a homicidal death and endangering the life of a child, while her live-in boyfriend Cesar Ruiz, 34, was charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and for having a suspended drivers license, the Chicago Tribune reports.
On Monday, the charges against Crystal were upgraded to include first-degree murder after she admitted to watching Ruiz beat her child earlier in the week, in addition to spanking him herself, Fox Chicago reports. A judge set Crystal's bond at $750,000 Monday. Ruiz was ordered held on a $2.5 million bond.
Christopher was found dead by police when they arrived at Valdez and Ruiz's home on the 5100 block of South Trumbull Avenue in Chicago about 2:10 p.m. Friday. The boy was found to have died from multiple blunt force trauma and his death was ruled a child abuse homicide Saturday.
Police were alerted to Christopher's death when he was discovered by his aunt and her husband, who had come to investigate after a neighbor told them that Christopher was sporting a black eye when he attended Thanksgiving at their home the previous day, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Christopher was found with his bruises covered in makeup concealer, according to the Sun-Times. Christopher's family pointed out to the paper that the boy's mother had been convicted on Oct. 21 of domestic battery. An Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigation had previously shown that she had neglected her child. Christopher had three other siblings.
Steven Valdez, the boy's great uncle, previously described Ruiz, his niece's boyfriend, as anti-social and violent, NBC Chicago reported. He said that two weeks before the boy's death, Ruiz beat a dog severely after it relieved itself in his home.
WATCH an earlier news report on the the tragic killing: