Who Is Andrew "AJ" Freund? New Details About The Five Year Old Missing From His Home — Including That His Parents Were Charged For His Murder

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Who Is Andrew "AJ" Freund? New Details About The Five Year Old Missing From His Home — Including That His Parents Were Charged For His Murder
Entertainment And News

Police and other agencies around Chicago are searching for a five year old boy reported missing on Thursday. AJ Freund disappeared from his home without a trace.

AJ’s parents say they last saw him when he went to bed around 9pm on Wednesday night, April 17th. On Thursday morning, they say he was gone. Police have searched 373 acres during a foot search and nearly 500 acres were covered via aerial search by drones. In addition, teams have searched the waters fo a nearby lake. But police say now that they are concentrating on the family’s residence. 

Who is Andrew Freund? What happened to AJ Freund? Read on for all the details.

1. Troubled beginning

AJ has been followed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services since he was born. At birth, doctors discovered he had opiates in his system and thus, set up regular contact between the agency and his mother regarding his welfare. AJ was placed in foster care as in infant but returned to his mother after about 18 months. Their contact with the agency continued until the end of 2018.

Police are searching for the missing boy.

2. Disappearance

AJ allegedly went to bed at 9pm on Wednesday night. When the family awoke on Thursday morning, the parents reported that they could not find the 5-year-old. That was when they called police. The report triggered a massive interagency search, including 15 police agencies helping to search on Thursday, along with the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Any information is helpful.

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3. Family

At this time police say AJ’s mother JoAnn Cunningham has not been cooperative with the investigation. Her lawyers, on the other hand, claim she was cooperative and submitted to a full body search. However, they say that on the advice of counsel she stopped cooperating when it became clear that she was a suspect. Her attorney said: “She doesn’t know what happened to A.J. and had nothing to do with the disappearance of A.J. She’s worried sick.” Cunningham is currently seven months pregnant. In addition, there is another child, younger than AJ, who was removed from the home after AJ’s was reported missing. He is in DFCS custody until a hearing takes place to determine where he should go next.

The FBI is involved in the search.

4. Problems at home

Some neighbors, who wished to remain anonymous, have told reporters that the home was not a peaceful one. They reported that police have visited multiples time and they could hear arguments coming from inside the house. Some neighbors have called for welfare checks on the children.

Police have visited the home repreatedly.

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5. Not an abduction

On Monday, police updated the media about the case. They said that because canine teams had “only picked up Andrew’s scent within the residence it indicated that Andrew had not walked away on foot.’’ They expanded on the search process saying “This continues to be an active and ongoing investigation. In reviewing all information, there is no indication currently that would lead police to believe that an abduction had taken place at this time. Information obtained continues to have police focusing on the residence and the individuals that may have seen or had contact with “AJ” last. 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. Investigators are continuing to review evidence, leads, and tips as they become available.”

AJ's mother is no longer cooperating with police.

6. Community shocked

Neighbors and friends are stunned over the disappearance and are hopeful for a positive outcome. “Everybody is trying to carry some normal part of life, but where is A.J.? It’s heartbreaking that we don’t know. We’re sick over where is he. It’s just, you can’t think about anything else. No one can,” neighbor Janelle Butler said. A different neighbor, Bob Atkinson, said, “It’s upsetting, especially you think it’s not gonna happen in my backyard and it did.”

Where is AJ Freund?

7. Tragic End

On April 24, p a source close to police told reporters that officers had found the body of AJ in a rural area several miles from the family's home. Police began the search of the area after a meeting Cunningham. She entered the station accompanied by her attorney. He then left the station alone two hours later. At the same time, officers returned to the family home and removed a large tub, paper bags, a shovel and a small mattress. At a press conference, police announced that AJ's parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund would be chargd with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, and failure to report a missing child missing or child death. Freund was also charged with concealment of a homicidal death. The couple gave police information about the AJ's body's location after police confronted them with cell phone records incrimnating them in the murder.

AJ's body was found on Wednesday.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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