AJ Freund.

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A timeline of the AJ Freund murder investigation

The Crystal Lake 5-year-old’s body was found in a shallow grave seven miles away from his house. His parents have been charged with his death.

In April, Andrew “AJ” Freund’s parents reported him missing, saying they had last seen him while putting him to bed. But after nearly a week of searching in and around Crystal Lake, the five-year-old boy’s body was found, and an autopsy revealed he died from blows to his head.

His parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr., were charged with his death. Criminal complaints filed in McHenry County Circuit Court showed the boy was killed three days before his father called 911 to report him missing — after his parents forced him “to remain in a cold shower for an extended period of time” and “struck [Andrew] on or about his body.”

After AJ’s death, Freund Sr. wrapped his son’s body in plastic and buried it the same day in a shallow grave in a semi-rural area of suburban Woodstock, about seven miles from his home, according to court records and police statements.

Police reports say before his death, Freund was living in squalor, with dog feces and urine throughout the house and broken windows. Cunningham’s ex-husband has said his ex-wife was a drug user. Records show Freund was born with opiates in his system.

Four months before he was killed, AJ told a doctor during an emergency room visit that “maybe someone hit me with a belt” after police said they saw a large bruise on AJ’s hip.

The Department of Children and Family Services has been under fire for its handling of AJ’s case. But the two state child welfare investigators who dealt with AJ’s family were overloaded with other cases in the months leading up to the boy’s death, according to the ALCU.

In December, Cunningham pleaded guilty in the murder of her son.

17 Total Updates Since
April 24, 2019 10:35 AM