ELKHART — A murder charge has been filed against an Elkhart teen following the death of a four-year-old boy.
Christian O. Maradiaga, 19, Elkhart, is charged with murder, a felony; neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a level 1 felony; and interference with the reporting of a crime, a class A misdemeanor.
Previously, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Elkhart County released information that in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 10, emergency responders were dispatched to Elkhart General Hospital in response to a report that a four-year-old child had been beaten and was unresponsive.
The child’s mother and a family friend advised law enforcement officials of the facts and circumstances of which they were aware. Law enforcement continued to gather information at the hospital and immediately responded to an apartment in the 2800 block of Toledo Road, Elkhart, where Maradiaga was taken into custody. Probable cause was found to support the arrest and a bond of $300,000 was set pending the filing of formal charges and further review.
At that time, the child’s prognosis was not optimistic and the investigation was ongoing by the Elkhart County Homicide Unit. Given the seriousness of the event, and the need for a thorough and complete assessment of the facts and circumstances, official documents regarding probable cause for Maradiaga’s arrest were temporarily sealed.
On Friday, June 11, the child succumbed to his injuries and died. Accordingly, Prosecutor Vicki Elaine Becker filed formal charges of murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death against Maradiaga on June 15. The crime of murder carries a possible prison sentence of up to 65 years and neglect resulting in death carries a possible prison sentence of up to 40 years. An initial hearing has been scheduled by the Elkhart Circuit Court for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 17, where Maradiaga will be advised of the charges, his rights and any deadlines in the case, and the court will address Maradiaga’s right to counsel.
As this investigation is ongoing, if anyone has knowledge or information surrounding this matter, please contact Lieutenant Mike Carich or Detective Jackie Davis, ECHU, at (574) 295-2825, as soon as possible.