Body of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Found: Police - NBC Chicago

Body of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Found: Police

Wednesday marked one full week since Andrew "AJ" Freund was last seen

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police 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)

    The body of missing 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund has been found in Woodstock, Illinois and his parents have been charged in connection to his death, six days after he was reported missing from his Crystal Lake home, authorities said Wednesday.

    Charges include first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing child death, police said.

    Community in Mourning After Boy's Body FoundCommunity in Mourning After Boy's Body Found

    A community is in mourning after the body of a missing 5-year-old boy was found on Wednesday morning. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019)

    Both parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and Joann Cunningham, are in custody.

    Andrew's body was found in a shallow grave wrapped in plastic Wednesday morning in a rural portion of Woodstock, according to authorities. The cause of Andrew's death was not immediately known, police said.

    The attorney for the child's mother, George Kililis, was seen leaving the police station Wednesday morning but declined to comment on if Cunningham was inside. According to members of the police department, it was believed the mother was inside the police station at some point Wednesday. 

    "You will get your comment from police soon," Kililis said, his voice raspy and faded. 

    A massive law enforcement presence was seen searching an area near Gayle Drive and Dean Street in Woodstock Wednesday morning, but it remained unclear if that was related to the case. Authorities also searched the child's Dole Avenue home in Crystal Lake in the morning hours. 

    Evidence technicians were also seen bringing items into the police station Wednesday morning. Those items included a mattress, a large bin, two large brown bags, and an item with a long wooden handle, which appeared to be a shovel.  

    Evidence Seen Being Brought Into Crystal Lake Police StationEvidence Seen Being Brought Into Crystal Lake Police Station

    Evidence technicians were seen carrying in a mattress and several other items into the Crystal Lake Police Department Wednesday morning. Police were expected to update on the case of a missing 5-year-old boy later that morning. 

    (Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019)

    Wednesday marked one full week since AJ was last seen and six days since he was reported missing by his parents, who said they last saw the child while putting him to bed in their northwest suburban home on the evening of April 17.  

    The following morning, AJ's father, Andrew Freund Sr., called police to report that his son was not in the house and that they had canvassed the neighborhood, went to a local park, checked an area gas station and called his school - but AJ was nowhere to be found, according to the 911 call released Tuesday. 

    LISTEN TO THE 911 AUDIO HERE

    Missing Crystal Lake Boy: Listen to 911 Call From FamilyMissing Crystal Lake Boy: Listen to 911 Call From Family

    Audio of the 911 call the father of a missing Crystal Lake boy made when his son went missing was released by authorities Tuesday.

     

    (Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019)

    "We have a missing child," Freund Sr. told dispatchers in the 911 call made Thursday morning. 

    Police and first responders descended on wooded areas and ponds in Crystal Lake Tuesday as they continued their search. 

    Meanwhile, Kenneally urged anyone who may know something to come forward. Kenneally said the worst thing someone can do in this case is conceal the truth. 

    "We will literally be working on this case every day until we find AJ or get justice for him," he said. 

    Police have asked the public for any video surveillance from the area the days and hours before and after AJ went missing. 

    "This would include video from home surveillance devices like the Ring Home Security System," police said in a release Tuesday. 

    Authorities said they were looking for video taken between 7 a.m. on April 15 and 9 a.m. on April 18 and asked anyone with footage related to the investigation to email jmattson@crystallake.org. 

    In the days following AJ's disappearance, police said they focused their search on the family’s Crystal Lake home, saying they do not believe the child was abducted.

    Parents of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Speak OutParents of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Speak Out

    Neighbors left stuffed animals and an Easter basket on the front lawn of a family whose five-year-old son has been missing for several days. NBC 5's Kate Chappell has the latest from Crystal Lake. 

    (Published Sunday, April 21, 2019)

    Police had said Cunningham was not cooperating.

    Both parents appeared Tuesday in McHenry County Circuit Court for a hearing as they seek to regain custody of their other son, who was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday after AJ was reported missing. The hearing was continued, with the next hearing set for Monday at 9 a.m. CT.

    "I have no control over what people think," Freund Sr. said over the weekend. "I just want my son to come home, OK."

    Parents of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Speak OutParents of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Speak Out

    Neighbors left stuffed animals and an Easter basket on the front lawn of a family whose five-year-old son has been missing for several days. NBC 5's Kate Chappell has the latest from Crystal Lake. 

    (Published Sunday, April 21, 2019)

    Crystal Lake police said they haven't stopped searching for AJ and continue to work as hard as they can.

    The child is about 3 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs roughly 70 pounds and has short, blonde hair. He was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

    Anyone who may have information on his whereabouts is being asked to call (815) 356-3620. They can also text information along with the word CLPDTIP to 847411. 

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