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IL ANDREW "AJ" FREUND: Missing from Crystal Lake, IL - 17 April 2019 - Age 5 *Found Deceased*

Discussion in 'Located/Resolved' started by kdg411, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Crystal Lake Police searching for missing 5-year-old boy

    The Crystal Lake Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing 5 year old male child. The child was last seen in the 0-100 block of Dole Avenue last night, April 17, at around 9pm. The child, who goes by the name of “Andrew” or “AJ”, is approximately 3’05”, weighs 70 pounds, with short, blond hair. He was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants. A recent picture is attached to this release.


    An AMBER alert was not issued in this case due to law enforcement being unable to confirm an abduction occurred. Andrew’s parents reported they last saw him at bedtime on April 17th, 2019 at approximately 9pm. After waking up this morning and being unable to locate him in the home, Andrew’s parents contacted police and reported him missing.


    Media - https://crimewatchers.net/forum/ind...as-reported-missing-since-april-17-2019.4539/
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2019
  2. Canucklady

    Canucklady Well-Known Member

    Oh I hope they find this little cutie pie!
    Tammy and kdg411 like this.
  3. Canucklady

    Canucklady Well-Known Member

  4. Canucklady

    Canucklady Well-Known Member

    Tammy and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  5. fran

    fran Administrator Staff Member

    Police claim missing five-year-old Illinois boy was NOT kidnapped and did not walk away from his home, as a long history of alleged 'abuse and neglect by his mother' is revealed
    • Andrew 'AJ' Freund was reported missing by his parents on Thursday morning
    • They claim to have last seen their child at around 9pm on Wednesday
    • AJ's scent has only been picked up within his own home, which police said is indication that he had 'not walked away on foot'
    • Department of Children and Family Services has been involved since AJ's birth
    • AJ's family were reported for neglect in March 2018 and abuse and neglect last December

    Authorities believe the missing five-year-old boy from Illinois was not kidnapped and did not walk away from his home.

    Mystery continues to swirl around the disappearance of Andrew 'AJ' Freund, who was reported missing by his parents on Thursday.

    Andrew Freund Sr and JoAnn Cunningham claim they last saw their son around 9pm on Wednesday when he went to bed at their Crystal Lake home.

    But authorities said on Saturday there is no indication that an abduction has actually taken place and they plan to focus specifically on his residence.

    Andrew 'AJ' Freund, 5, was reported missing on Thursday morning after his parents claim they
    put him to bed. He was gone the next day

    Officials believe AJ was not kidnapped and did not walk away from his home that night

    AJ's scent has only been picked up within his own home, which police said is indication that he had 'not walked away on foot.'

    Fifteen police agencies have been involved in the search, as well as drones, rescue canine units and sonar teams, according to CNN.

    AJ's family has a troubling history with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

    Spokesman Jassen Strokosch said on Saturday that the department has 'been involved with the family' since AJ's birth.

    Police said there is no indication that an abduction has actually taken place and they plan to focus
    specifically on his residence (pictured)

    AJ was brought into the department's care soon after his birth after 'neglect was indicated on part of the mom', Strokosch added.

    The boy was also 'in care with someone from 2013 to 2015, although Strokosch did not elaborate.

    Strokosch said AJ's family was reported for neglect in March 2018 and abuse and neglect in December, but the allegations were determined to be unfounded.

    AJ's three-year-old brother has since been removed from the home and is now living with a different family.

    George Kililis, Cunningham's attorney, said the mother 'doesn't know what happened to AJ and had nothing to do with the disappearance of AJ'.

    more at link .............. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...five-year-old-Illinois-boy-not-kidnapped.html
  6. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    ‘Hell on earth’: Father speaks out as search for Crystal Lake boy continues

    The father of a missing Crystal Lake boy said the last 48 hours have been “hell of earth.”

    Andrew “AJ” Freund, 5, was reported missing Thursday. After an exhaustive search, police said there was “no indication” Andrew had been abducted. DCFS said the agency has had extensive contact with the family since Andrew was born in 2013 with opiates in his system.

    His father, also named Andrew Freund, spoke to reporters outside a police station Saturday: “Anybody that’s out there that’s inclined to pray, please pray for the return of my son safely.”

    Police earlier Saturday had taken Freund for a ride in the backseat of a squad car, without handcuffs. He left the station Saturday evening and said he planned to walk home.

    Freund told WGN the investigation into his son’s disappearance is a “continuing process,” and the last several days have been “hell on earth.”

    Andrew’s mother, Joann Cunningham, spoke to reporters outside her Crystal Lake home Friday. She is seven months pregnant. Her attorney said Cunningham cooperated with police until she felt like she was being considered a suspect.

    “Ms. Cunningham had nothing to do with the disappearance,” attorney George Kililis said.

    DCFS confirmed Friday that the agency is very familiar with Andrew’s family after investigating allegations of abuse and neglect. Andrew was at one point placed in foster care for two years before returning home — only for more allegations of abuse to surface last year.

    “I would ask the community to not assume the worst,” Kililis said.

    Detectives have searched nearly 1,000 acres of land so far and scanned the waters of Crystal Lake. Police previously said canine units could only detect Andrew’s scent inside his home — meaning the boy had not left on foot.

    On Friday, Freund made a public plea, asking his son to return. “AJ, please come home. We love you very much. You’re not in any trouble. We’re just worried to death. Please, please come home.”

    spike, Tammy and kdg411 like this.
  7. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Partial interviews from parents.

    Father's interview.

    Tammy and kdg411 like this.
  8. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Crystal Lake Missing Boy: Police Say No Arrests in Case, Mother Uncooperative

    With a frantic search still underway, police say they continue to focus on the home where a missing Crystal Lake child was reportedly last seen.

    Authorities said their investigation so far has shown no evidence of an abduction and they remain centered on anyone who may have seen or had contact with the boy in the last hours before he disappeared.

    The child's mother "continues to be uncooperative with police," authorities said. His father, Andrew Freund Sr., did speak with police Saturday afternoon, they noted.

    "Investigators are continuing to review evidence, leads, and tips as they become available," Crystal Lake police said in a statement. "There has been no arrest in this case at this time."

    spike, Tammy and kdg411 like this.
  9. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    spike, Tammy, Paradise and 1 other person like this.
  10. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Police: Focus remains on AJ Freund's Crystal Lake home and people who had last contact with him

    The investigation into the disappearance of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund of Crystal Lake continues to focus “on the residence and the individuals that may have seen or had contact with AJ last,” police said Monday.

    Police said the investigation is active. In a news release Monday they said, “As of today’s date, JoAnn Cunningham, the boy’s mother, continues to be uncooperative with police. On Saturday afternoon, Andrew Freund, the boy’s father, did speak with police detectives.”

    An attorney for Cunningham said Sunday that Cunningham was cooperating and on Saturday “willingly submitted” to a body search. But a news release from the attorney’s law firm Monday said Cunningham was advised last week to stop communicating with police after “it became clear” that police “considered her a suspect.”

    Crystal Lake police Deputy Chief Tom Kotlowski late Monday said, “I don’t have any suspects right now. It is a missing child investigation. We are following up on all tips and leads.”

    State records show that the parents — Freund, 60, and Cunningham, 36, — became engaged after he represented her as her attorney in a 2012 divorce case, though the McHenry County clerk’s office has no record of a marriage between the two, and her attorney said they never got married.

    Freund is authorized by the state to practice law, but he is on probation from a 2015 suspension by the Illinois Supreme Court, according to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

    The discipline stemmed from Cunningham’s 2012 divorce case, when she was known as JoAnn Summerkamp, in which she and Freund were found guilty of indirect civil contempt of court for the removal of property from her marital home, in violation of a judge’s order. He was sentenced to two weeks in jail, and she to 30 days.

    The couple’s engagement became an aggravating factor in his case, the commission reported, because attorneys generally are prohibited from becoming romantically involved with their clients. He also was found to have appeared in court on her behalf in 2013 in a municipal ordinance violation case even though he was not authorized to practice law at that time for failing to complete continuing legal education, the ARDC reported.

    Freund was diagnosed with opioid and cocaine abuse disorders and was ordered to abstain and to continue treatment and a 12-step program, with regular progress reports.

    Freund also was convicted of retail theft of merchandise from a Kohl’s department store in Algonquin in 2014. Court records show he pleaded guilty, was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol rehabilitation and was placed on one year of supervision, according to ARDC records.

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  11. Tammy

    Tammy Well-Known Member

  12. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Missing Pieces Network‏@Network4Missing 1m1 minute ago

    Police sources tell FOX 32 the body of the missing boy from Crystal Lake has been found on private property near Woodstock. Crystal Lake Police and FBI officials will release more information during a media briefing at 1 p.m. (Central Time) at City Hall.
    kdg411, spike, Tammy and 2 others like this.
  13. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Parents charged with murder of Crystal Lake 5-year-old AJ Freund

    The parents of a missing 5-year-old boy from Crystal Lake have been charged with his murder, according to police.

    Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black said at a press conference Wednesday that the parents of Andrew “AJ” Freund have each been charged with murder in the boy’s death.

    Andrew’s body was found “buried in a shallow grave wrapped in plastic in a rural area of Woodstock,” Black said.

    The boy’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, was reportedly seen at the Crystal Lake police station. Previously, police said she had been “uncooperative” with investigators. Her attorneys said they told her to stop answering questions after police started to treat her as a suspect.

    Officers on Wednesday removed several items from the family’s home, including a shovel, mattress, paper bags and a plastic storage tub.

    Some 40 people had been involved in the search for the boy, including members of the Illinois State Police, which used small aircraft and sonar teams in boats to scan bodies of water in the area.

    kdg411, spike, Tammy and 1 other person like this.
  14. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member


    Rest in peace, little guy! You deserved a happy life.
    Sheryl0615, Steve, daisy7 and 3 others like this.
  15. Tammy

    Tammy Well-Known Member

    So heart breaking.:sadness::vigil:
    Sheryl0615, Kimster and spike like this.
  16. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Body of Andrew Freund found, parents who reported him missing charged with murder

    "We know you are at peace playing in heaven’s playground and are happy you no longer have to suffer," Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black said about Andrew "AJ" Freund.

    Black said Andrew's parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr., were interviewed by detectives and gave them information that led them to a shallow grave in Woodstock, Illinois, about 20 minutes from the family's home in Crystal Lake.

    The body was found wrapped in plastic and a cause of death is not yet known, Black said.

    Tammy, Kimster and spike like this.
  17. fran

    fran Administrator Staff Member

    I knew it! I knew it! :mad:

    Why do they take the child to protective service for an extended amount of time and then return them? IF they'd checked on the boy they most likely could have realized he was again being abused. They were reported in March '18 and December '18. Please don't tell me you really investigated and found no evidence. If you say that, then you need new investigators because they don't know what they're looking for.

    I'm heartbroken.


    RIP little one. Nobody will ever hurt you again.:hug:

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    Tammy, Sheryl0615, Kimster and 4 others like this.
  18. guess who

    guess who Bronze Member

    Yes! It seems that if you lose your kids for an extended period of time, you should be checked on frequently. Not only if there is a complaint filed.
    Tammy, fran, Kimster and 2 others like this.
  19. Canucklady

    Canucklady Well-Known Member

    RIP little guy, you deserved so much better:vigil:
    Tammy, Sheryl0615, fran and 2 others like this.
  20. fran

    fran Administrator Staff Member

    AJ Freund cause of death released, parents bond set at $5M each for Joann Cunningham, Andrew Freund, Sr.

    CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- Andrew "AJ" Freund died of multiple blunt force injuries to the head, the McHenry County Coroner said Thursday.

    Interim Coroner David Devane formally positively identified the body found in a shallow grave in Woodstock Wednesday morning as the 5-year-old boy from Crystal Lake. He wrote the autopsy determined his cause of death was "craniocerebral trauma as a consequence of multiple blunt force injuries."

    AJ's parents Joann Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. are accused of killing their son. Bond was set at $5 million each for the couple. They must pay $500,000 each to be released from custody.

    Criminal complaints released Thursday reveal horrific details about what allegedly led to AJ's death on April 15, three days before he was reported missing.

    READ: Criminal complaint filed against Joann Cunningham
    READ: Criminal complaint filed against Andrew Freund

    Investigators said the boy was forced into a cold shower for an extended period of time and badly beaten before he died. His parents then allegedly wrapped their 5-year-old son's body in plastic and dumped him in a shallow grave in the woods.

    Cunningham and Freund Sr. each face first-degree murder charges as well as aggravated battery, and failure to report a child death charges. A pregnant Cunningham nodded through tears as she heard the long list of felony counts in court Thursday.

    No family members were in court to support the parents Thursday. Cunningham's family said she stopped communicating with them a couple years ago. They said they had gained custody of her older son by another father six years ago, and recently were trying to get her to move out with AJ and his younger brother.

    Many in the community said they were also concerned about the kids.

    "I feel like he didn't have a chance from the beginning," neighbor Teresa Hay said.

    A smaill sign that said "RIP AJ" in white letters was seen in a window at the McHenry County jail on Thursday.

    In the windows of the McHenry County Jail, other inmates hung a sign saying "RIP AJ."

    Crystal Lake police said they would be removing the flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and other items left outside AJ's home because they are expecting rain and want to be able to give them to AJ's family, including his younger brother, in good condition.

    On Wednesday, AJ's body was found on farm property in nearby Woodstock, Illinois.

    Investigators with local, state and federal authorities found the body after the couple was confronted with cell phone evidence.

    "Information was obtained from 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 recovery," Crystal Lake Police Chief Jim Black said at a press conference Wednesday.

    As crews recovered the 5-year-old's body, evidence technicians removed clues from the family's home in Crystal Lake, including a child's mattress and a shovel.

    AJ was reported missing on the morning of April 18, nearly a week before his body was found. His parents said they last saw him when he went to bed the night before.

    "The Crystal Lake police and the FBI are doing a wonderful job. We are all just doing everything that we can at this point," Freund Sr. told the media during the search.

    He said he had no idea where AJ was, but vowed he would not stop looking for him.

    When asked what he thought about people who assumed he was withholding information, Freund Sr. said, "I have no control over what people think. I just want my son to come home."

    Cunningham also made a tearful plea on Good Morning America for her son to come home.

    "I want us home together. I just want my kid. My kids are my life. They're my kids," Cunningham said.

    Investigators said the couple knew exactly where their 5-year-old son was the entire time.
    ABC7 learned the Freund family had a long history with local police, who responded to the home 17 times in five years for allegations of both abuse and drug use.

    After AJ's parents were charged, Acting Director of DCFS Marc Smith released this statement:

    "After a nearly week-long search for missing Andrew "A.J." Freund, law enforcement officials today confirmed his death. This news is heartbreaking. Protecting vulnerable children who come to our attention is at the core of our mission at DCFS. All of us feel this loss. Our priority is the care and safety of Andrew's younger sibling. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation. The Department is committed to conducting a comprehensive review of the entirety of our work with Andrew's family to understand our shortcomings and to be fully transparent with the public on any steps we are taking to address the issues."

    During the search, the couple's 3-year-old son was put in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Cunningham tried to regain custody on April 23, but the hearing was delayed.

    Cunningham and Freund Sr. will each have to pay $500,000 to get out of jail. They are due back in court on Monday, April 29.


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