Police find body of missing 5-year-old Andrew ‘AJ’ Freund; charge parents with murder
Fedorovekb/iStock(CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill.) — Missing 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund is believed to be found dead, nearly one week after he vanished from his Crystal Lake, Illinois, home, police said Wednesday.
Both of AJ’s parents gave information that led to a body believed to be the little boy. The body was buried in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic, in a rural area near Woodstock, Illinois, Crystal Lake Police Chief Jim Black said at a news conference on Wednesday.
His cause of death is not clear, Black said.
Both parents are being charged with his disappearance and death, Black said.
Speaking directly to AJ, Black said, “We know you’re at peace, playing in heaven’s playground.”
AJ was last seen alive on the night of Wednesday, April 17. AJ’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, reported him missing the next day, according to her attorney, George Kililis.
Crystal Lake police said on Monday that AJ’s mother was being “uncooperative” with investigators.
However, Kililis told “Good Morning America” over the weekend that when Cunningham reported AJ missing, she spoke with multiple officers and “was fully cooperating.”
Kililis said he got the impression that police considered Cunningham a suspect, so he told her to remain silent.
“She has nothing to do with his disappearance,” Kililis said over the weekend. “She’s nothing more than a grieving mother.”
There was no indication the boy was abducted, police said earlier this week.
Canine teams only picked up the boy’s scent within his home, which police said indicated he didn’t walk away on foot.
Crystal Lake is about 50 miles northwest of Chicago.
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