The parents of the missing 5-year-old boy from Illinois are accused of killing him after police found the body wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave in a nearby town.
Officers launched a massive search for Andrew ‘A.J.’ Freund of Crystal Lake when his father reported to the police that he was missing.
The child’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., reportedly gave information that led to the discovery of the boy’s body in a nearby town, said Police Chief James Black at the press conference.
Freund and the boy’s mother Joanne Cunningham face first-degree murder and other charges.
“A.J. is no longer suffering and his killers have been brought to justice,” said Black, adding that the child’s cause of death hasn’t yet been determined.
His parents said they last saw him on April 17 at about 9 pm when he went to sleep, officers said in a press release.
The father reported him missing the next day when he told police he couldn’t find the boy.
Police released a recording of Freund’s 911 call and he can be heard telling the dispatcher that he couldn’t find A.J.
“We have a missing child,” he told the dispatcher. “I have no idea where he would be.”
Rescue dogs detected the child’s scent in the trunk of his parent’s vehicle, CBS News reported.
The father spoke to reporters and said: “A.J., please come home. We love you very much. You’re not in any trouble. We’re just worried to death. Please, please come home.”
Police then said both parents were not cooperating properly with them. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services released a statement saying: “The department’s involvement with Andrew Freund began with his birth in 2013 and continued on and off through the end of 2018.”
Reports also revealed that the living conditions at their house were not “up to an acceptable standard’ and said there was ‘dog feces and urine scattered about.”
There were several broken or open windows and the place appeared to be dirty, cluttered and disrepair. “The floor in the kitchen had portions that were jagged and broken off. The ceiling in the kitchen appeared to have water damage and was peeling and open in one portion,” Officer Nickolaus Trimpe said.
The mother, who is 7 months pregnant, was told by her attorney not to speak to the police anymore.
“Ms. Cunningham doesn’t know what happened to A.J., and had nothing to do with the disappearance of A.J.,” her attorney George Kililis said.
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