The father of a missing five-year-old boy in Crystal Lake, Illinois briefly spoke to NBC 5 Sunday, a day after he was driven away from his home by undercover police and the same day the boy's mother was interviewed by Good Morning America.
Around 1 p.m. Saturday, undercover police officers arrived at the home of Andrew "AJ" Freund, and announced that they had a warrant. The officers were seeking the elder Freund’s help in finding the missing boy, and after a short time he got into the back of a police car, without handcuffs, and left the home.
On Saturday, Andrew Freund Sr. did not respond to reporters’ questions as he got into the police car but on Sunday, NBC 5 was able to speak with him momentarily as he was seen outside his house trying, allegedly retracing AJ's steps.
“I have no control over what people think,” Freund Sr. said. “I just want my son to come home, okay?”
AJ’s father said he is cooperating with police, meanwhile Joann Cunningham, the boy’s mother who said she stopped cooperating with authorities, appeared with her attorney on Good Morning America Sunday morning.
Authorities have been searching for the missing 5-year-old since Thursday, covering hundreds of acres of land and water. That search has also been focused on the home where his parents say that the boy was last seen after going to sleep on Wednesday night.
Police say that they do not believe that the boy was abducted and they do not believe that he left the residence on foot, according to preliminary investigations.
On Friday, officials revealed that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had taken the boy’s younger brother into custody, and documents released revealed a troubled history for the suburban family, including allegations of neglect against the missing boy, whom authorities say was born with opiates in his system.
As of Saturday afternoon, police declined to name any suspects in the case.
For now, the community is rallying together hoping that the young boy is found safe and sound.
A vigil was held at Main Beach in Crystal Lake on Saturday night, where residents lit candles and prayed for Aj's safe return.
“I just think everyone is trying to come together, and hopes for the best outcome,” Happy Hour Yoga owner Nancy Meyers said.
Clients at Meyers’ yoga studio gathered Saturday to write notes to the missing child and his family.
“(We want) to let him know we’re thinking about him and we’re worried about him,” one of the studio’s clients said.