U.S.

AJ Freund: Body of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Possibly Found, Parents Charged With Murder

The parents of a 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy who went missing Thursday were charged with his alleged murder on Wednesday, police announced at a conference. Police found what they believe to be the body of Andrew “AJ” Freund early Wednesday morning in a shallow grave in Woodstock, Illinois.

Following the discovery of the body, police arrested AJ’s parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew “Drew” Freund Sr., said a release from police. The two were in custody Wednesday and awaiting transport to the McHenry County Jail. They were arrested and charged with the disappearance and murder of their son AJ.

aj freund body found parents charged A small memorial sits outside the home of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund, in Crystal Lake, Illinois, on April 24. Freund was reported missing by his parents last week. Today police believe his body has been reported to have been recovered near Woodstock, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Cunningham was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing or child death. Drew Freund Sr. was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated domestic battery, two counts of concealment of homicidal death and one count of failure to report a missing or child death, according to police.

“Once presented with the evidence obtained by investigators both JoAnn and Andrew Senior provided information that ultimately led to the recovery of, what we believe is recovery of, the deceased subject AJ,” Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black said during a conference Wednesday.

The McHenry County Coroner’s Office and the FBI were on the scene where the body was found Wednesday as part of the investigation, Black said. As of Wednesday, the cause of death was unknown pending results from the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

“To AJ’s family, it is our hope that you may have some solace in knowing that AJ is no longer suffering and his killers have been brought to justice. We would also like to thank the community for their support and assistance during this difficult time. To AJ, we know you are at peace playing in heaven’s playground and are happy you no longer have to suffer,” said a post on Facebook from the police department.

AJ’s parents reported him missing Thursday morning stating that they last saw him Wednesday evening around bedtime. Following his disappearance, news was released that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had been involved with the family in the past and police had been called to the home before, The Chicago Tribune reported.

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