24 APR 19 15:04 ET
By Eric Levenson, CNN
(CNN) — The physique of a 5-year-old boy reported as lacking final week was discovered wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave, and his mother and father have been charged together with his homicide, police mentioned on Wednesday.
Quickly after starting their investigation, police mentioned it was seemingly the boy, Andrew “AJ” Freund, was neither kidnapped nor walked away from the household’s residence in Crystal Lake, exterior of Chicago. As a substitute, the investigation has targeted on the house itself.
The seek for AJ started Thursday morning when the boy’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., calmly referred to as police and reported him as lacking.
“Now we have a lacking little one,” he mentioned, based on a 911 name launched by the Crystal Lake Police Division on Tuesday. “Wakened this morning and he wasn’t … he wasn’t.”
Freund informed a 911 dispatcher that he put AJ to mattress in his pajamas final Wednesday night time however couldn’t discover him within the morning earlier than college.
“I had a physician appointment this morning and after I bought again from the physician’s appointment and I checked in on him to say good morning and he wasn’t there,” the daddy informed the dispatcher Thursday.
He mentioned he searched throughout the home and canvassed the neighborhood however couldn’t discover him.
The ensuing search included 15 police companies. Sonar groups that searched town’s namesake lake discovered nothing, and the canine groups “solely picked up Andrew’s ‘scent’ inside the residence, indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot,” the police mentioned.
“(T)right here is not any indication that might lead police to consider that an abduction had taken place,” the division mentioned in an announcement.
Crystal Lake Police mentioned JoAnn Cunningham, the boy’s mom, “continues to be uncooperative with police.”
Youngster welfare investigations
Police on Tuesday launched 63 pages of experiences detailing a number of police calls to Andrew’s residence lately. In December, for example, an officer described unlivable situations with “canine feces and urine” inside the home.
The officer throughout the go to additionally reported a suspicious bruise on one of many kids, however a baby welfare employee was unable to make a willpower of abuse, the report mentioned.
Months earlier, an area resident referred to as police to examine on the kids as a result of the house had been with out energy for weeks, based on the experiences. An officer wrote the 2 kids appeared “wholesome and joyful” and that little one welfare authorities mentioned the dearth of electrical energy didn’t warrant their investigation.
The Illinois Division of Kids and Household Providers has “been concerned with the household” since AJ’s start, division spokesman Jassen Strokosch informed CNN. AJ “was introduced into care with us” quickly after he was born, when “neglect was indicated on a part of the mother,” Strokosch mentioned. From 2013 to 2015, the toddler was within the care of another person, he mentioned.
A youthful sibling who had been within the residence till this week is now dwelling with one other household, Strokosch mentioned.
Dad and mom spoke to the media
The boy’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., spoke to TV cameras saying they have been extraordinarily anxious about their son.
“AJ, please come residence,” his father mentioned. “We love you very a lot. You’re not in any hassle. We’re simply anxious to dying. Please, please come residence.”
George Kililis, an legal professional for Cunningham, informed CNN affiliate WLS the boy’s mom “doesn’t know what occurred to AJ, and had nothing to do with the disappearance of AJ. Ms. Cunningham is anxious sick. She is devastated.”
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