Christina Marguerette Libres McNeil
"Chris"
3 Years Old

January 11, 1995 to June 16, 1998

My baby's full name is Christina Marguerette Libres McNeil. She was born on January 11, 1995 at 11:36 pm at BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Bloomington, Illinois. She weight 7 pounds 4 ounces and her height was 20 and 1/2 inches. Christina is and was my only child. She was only nine months old when she first mentioned my full name.

My beloved Christina was a happy child, full of laughter and giggles. She developed the initiative of helping with household chores at the early age of one, always offering help in any way she could.

Christina was an easy child to raise. She was independent and knew how to entertain herself. She was my number one entertainer. She would sing, dance and joke with me. She would mimic the characters from her movie videos like Pocahontas, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Molly in the Comfy Couch, Jungle Book and Lion King. I could remember the way she danced like Cinderella. She would don my night clothes and pretend to be a princess while I was the prince. She loved to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Barney and the Alphabets Song.

Christina was my teacher. She called my attention to correctly pronounce the letter J when we sang the Alphabets Song and the word "three" when we practiced counting. She taught me the differences between violet and purple. Christina was intelligent. At two, she learned to spell. The first word she spelled completely was "welcome" from the mat of her grandparents porch. She spelled hard words like "restaurant" from the Mr. Quick on Washington St., Wal-Mart and Kohl's.

Her night routine was the recitation of the Angels of God's Prayer. She learned to say this prayer at two years old.

As a child, Christina was sensitive to the feelings of others. Twice she saw me crying inside her room. She came in and sat in front of me and asked what was wrong. She cried too and wiped my tears as we hugged each other. She always rewarded me with hugs and kisses after I came home from work.

Christina was also aware of her limits. She know when our shopping time would end because I still had to work. Often she would say, "I want to go home to mommy's home, mommy's working". Every spring until fall, Christina would pick flowers she could find to give me. Her favorite were dandelions.

She loved Miller Park. The last time she ever saw this place was seventeen days before her death. She loved to visit the pet store in the mall because she loved to see the animals. She was also looking for stray cats from our neighborhood and would love to have given them a home. Her favorite eating place was McDonalds, because she loved the happy meal chicken nuggets. She also loved other foods such as doughnuts, spaghetti, fried chicken legs, pizza, broccoli and carrots. To this day, I still buy and cook her favorites in her memory.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On June 15, 1998, at past 7:00 pm, the father of my only child picked my daughter up from my apartment. My baby Christina would be spending the night at his apartment since I was scheduled to work that night. Before he left with her, he asked for money from me to buy supper for my baby.

When I came home from work in the morning, a policeman knocked at my door and told me he wanted to speak with me. He asked me if I knew 1105 N. Evans Street. I said yes. So I asked him why, but he did not answer, and he continued questioning. "Do you know Barton McNeil?", he asked. I said yes, he was my ex-husband. And he said, "Christina passed away." I couldn't believe what I heard. I did not understand my feelings. I lost my senses at that instant, all I wanted was to be with my baby Christina. I was driven by the police to his apartment, and I saw the lifeless body of my baby. Her lips were black, her nose bloody, she had bruises on her back. There was blood on the bed sheets where she was lying. When I kissed and hugged her, she was already stiff. And when I kissed her mouth there was already an odor.

Barton McNeil was the only one with my baby Christina in his apartment that night and there was no indication of forced entry.

The findings of the autopsy was that he molested and smothered my only child, baby Christina.

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Christina McNeil