Cause of Death Released for Andrew 'AJ' Freund After Crystal Lake Boy's Body Found - NBC Chicago

Cause of Death Released for Andrew 'AJ' Freund After Crystal Lake Boy's Body Found

According to the McHenry County Coroner's office the body found in a makeshift grave in Woodstock Wednesday was identified as AJ

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Cause of Death Released for Andrew 'AJ' Freund

    A cause of death for Andrew "AJ" Freund was released Thursday, one day after the Crystal Lake boy's body was found in a remote Woodstock area and his parents were charged with murder. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Thursday, April 25, 2019)

    A cause of death for Andrew "AJ" Freund was released Thursday, one day after the Crystal Lake boy's body was found in a remote Woodstock area and his parents were charged with murder. 

    According to the McHenry County Coroner's office, the body found in the makeshift grave in unincorporated Woodstock was identified as AJ and the cause of death was listed as "craniocerebral trauma as a consequence of multiple blunt force injuries." 

    An investigation remaind ongoing, officials said. 

    AJ's parents were each ordered held on $5 million bonds Thursday, one day after they were both charged in the boy's death and disappearance. 

    Joann Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. faced a judge for the first time since authorities said they found what they believed to be AJ's body on Wednesday. Cunningham cried as the judge read the charges against her while Freund Sr. sat silent. 

    Cunningham was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing or child death.

    Freund Sr. was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated domestic battery, two counts of concealment of homicidal death and one count of failure to report a missing or child death.

    Read the full complaints against them

    WARNING: Details below may be disturbing for some readers. 

    The parents allegedly forced the young boy to stand in a cold shower and beat him three days before the child was reported missing to police, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday. 

    The complaint alleges that on April 15, AJ's parents forced him "to remain in a cold shower for an extended period of time and/or struck [AJ] on or about his body, knowing that said acts would cause the death of [AJ], thereby causing the death." 

    The complaint alleges the parents beat AJ to death three days before reporting him missing, when they claimed in a 911 call on April 18 that they could not find their son after putting him to bed the night before. 

    Police Detail Charges Against Boy's Parents After Body FoundPolice Detail Charges Against Boy's Parents After Body Found

     Crystal Lake police and the FBI announced Wednesday that they had located the body of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund, and that murder charges have been filed against the boy's parents. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019)

    Crystal Lake police said Wednesday that investigators located a body wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave in a remote area of Woodstock, just miles from the Crystal Lake home where the boy was reported missing six days earlier.  

    LISTEN TO THE 911 AUDIO HERE

    Police said both parents were questioned overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning after information was obtained during a "forensic analysis of cell phone data." 

    "Once presented with the evidence obtained by investigators, both Joann and Andrew Sr. provided information that ultimately led to the recovery, what we believe is the recovery of deceased subject AJ," Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black. 

    Authorities Announce They've Located Body of Missing BoyAuthorities Announce They've Located Body of Missing Boy

     Authorities in Crystal Lake announced Wednesday that they had located the body of missing five-year-old AJ Freund, and have charged the boy's parents with first-degree murder. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019)

    Law enforcement and first responders descended on a large wooded area in Woodstock Wednesday morning. At the same time, police were seen searching the family's home on Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake. 

    Moments later, evidence technicians brought items from an evidence van into the Crystal Lake police station. Those items included a mattress, a large bin, two large brown bags, and an item that appeared to be a shovel with a long wooden handle.

    "To AJ’s family, it is our hope that you may have some solace in knowing that AJ is no longer suffering and his killers have been brought to justice," Black said Wednesday. "We would also like to thank the community for their support and assistance during this difficult time. To AJ, we know you are at peace playing in heaven’s playground and are happy you no longer have to suffer." 

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the NBC Chicago App

      Download the App

      Available for iOS and Android