Cops Find Body Of Missing Illinois Boy AJ Freund; Parents Charged With Murder

AJ was reportedly “buried in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic”; cops say the parents cracked and directed them to the body.

April 24, 2019

Photo by: Mug shots of Andrew Freund, Sr.; JoAnn Cunningham [Crystal Lake Police Department]

Mug shots of Andrew Freund, Sr.; JoAnn Cunningham [Crystal Lake Police Department]

By: Mike McPadden

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL — The search for missing five-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund has ended with officials reportedly finding the boy’s body about 15 minutes away from his home. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Andrew Freund, Sr., and JoAnn Cunningham, AJ’s parents, have both been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

Photo by: Andrew "AJ" Freund [Crystal Lake Police Department]

Andrew "AJ" Freund [Crystal Lake Police Department]

On Wednesday morning, Cunningham was reportedly spotted at the Crystal Lake Police station, after previously having been “uncooperative.”

At around the same time, officials were seen removing numerous items from the family’s home, including a shovel, a mattress, lawn bags, and a plastic storage bin. Animal Control also took custody of the family’s dog.

At a press conference, Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black stated, “It is with heavy heart that the Crystal Lake Police Department has located what we believe to be the body of Andrew ‘AJ’ Freund earlier this morning … buried in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic in a remote area of Woodstock, Illinois.”

Black went on to say that “forensic analysis of cell phone data” had been presented to the parents during overnight interviews, after which they “provided information that ultimately led to what we believe is the recovery of the deceased subject, AJ.”

Police said that more details would not be forthcoming at this time, to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

AJ was first reported missing last Thursday. His parents said they put him to sleep the night before and he was gone when they woke up.

As a massive search ensued to find the missing child, authorities placed AJ’s younger brother in protective custody.

Reports then came to light about the family living in squalid conditions and being investigated multiple times over the past three years due to allegations of neglect and abuse.

After being formally arrested on Wednesday, Andrew Freund, Sr., and JoAnn Cunningham were each charged with five counts of first-degree murder, six counts of aggravated battery (total), two counts of aggravated domestic battery, and one count each of failure to report a child death.

Read more: Chicago Sun-Times, WGN, CNN

Next Up

Edge Of The Cliff: How An American Dream Turned Into A Nightmare For A Model Family

Jennifer and Sarah Hart were regarded by all who knew them as caring and devoted parents who had adopted two sets of three Black siblings and dedicated their lives to raising the six children in a socially conscious atmosphere that focused on love and acceptance.

New Report Details Most Bizarre Evidence From Chris Watts Family Murder Case

The discovery documents portray the stark reality of a family falling apart, and a 33-year-old man who decided murdering three innocent people was the easiest way out of his marriage and life as a father.

California Man Allegedly Killed His Parents & Housekeeper, Then Went To ER

Camden Nicholson, 27, has been charged with triple murder in the affluent family's Newport Beach home.

Mom Hunts Down & Whips 14-Year-Old Son With Belt For Joyriding In Stolen BMW

The teen admits he made a terrible decision, and he's now grounded until 2019.

Jake Patterson Charged; Chilling New Details In The Jayme Closs Case

After becoming obsessed with Jayme Closs, Jake Patterson drove to her house twice intending to kidnap her, but backed off for fear of getting caught.

Deadly Dads: 5 Fathers Who Killed Their Own Kids

Give your dad a call this Father’s Day … and give thanks you weren’t born to one of these monsters.

'House of Horrors' Child-Torture Turpins Sentenced To Life; Survivors Speak Out In Court

“My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back,” one daughter told the court.

Texas Mom Gets 6 Years In Prison For Selling Son To Pay $2,500 Drug Debt

Esmeralda Garza also attempted to sell her two younger daughters, ages two and three.

Teen Killed 5-Year-Old Brother, Cut Off & Ate His Penis In “Black Magic Ritual”: Cops

Police say she tortured, suffocated, and mutilated the boy, whose remains were found surrounded by black candles.