The community of Crystal Lake is still reeling after the death of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund this week, and residents are being encouraged to honor his life in a simple way on Friday.
In a Facebook post that has been widely shared throughout the community, residents in Crystal Lake are being encouraged to “Wear Blue for AJ” in an effort to honor his life, as well as to honor first responders who worked so tirelessly to find him.
One of the posts, which was shared over 500 times, calls for the community to come together:
“I am asking everyone for a huge favor and to wear blue this Friday, April 26th to remember AJ and his beautiful smile as well as a symbol of dedication to all of the officers, firemen, volunteers that spent so much time searching for what was ultimately everyone's worst fear.
“Please share my post so we can reach as many in the community as we can. Right now, we need to pull together as one community, one family and be there for a little boy that did not have the support and family he deserved. I am begging, please just dedicate one day to AJ.”
Freund’s body was discovered in a nature preserve on Wednesday morning, according to police. An autopsy revealed that the little boy had died of blunt force trauma to the head after he was allegedly beaten while being forced to take a cold shower.
Freund’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and Joann Cunningham, are both being charged with murder in the boy’s death, and both are being held on $5 million bond.