While the alleged killers of a 5-year-old Illinois boy might be facing trial, the community is still suffering from the tragic loss, ABC News reports. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, earlier this month, Andrew “AJ” Freund, 5, went missing from his family’s home in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The boy’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr., 60, and JoAnn Cunningham, 36, told law enforcement that they had last seen their son when he went to bed at 9 p.m. on April 18.
After AJ’s disappearance was reported, the state began a massive search for the missing boy, making use of multiple law enforcement officers, K-9 units, and unmanned drones. Nearly a week later, authorities found what they believed to be the boy’s body in a shallow grave in nearby Woodstock. Shortly after, both of Andrew’s parents were arrested and charged with the murder of their son. The two face a slew of charges, including first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, and failure to report a missing child or the death of a child.”
To help the community with their loss, a local funeral home is set to host a public memorial service for AJ, which will be held on Friday, May 3. In an effort to help AJ’s family, a GoFundMe was started by Kim Clauson, whose son is best friends with AJ’s older brother. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised over $45,000, with funds going towards AJ’s burial and funeral costs. Clauson notes that any excess funds will be given to AJ’s siblings and grandmother.
As detailed by WGN-TV, an autopsy performed by the McHenry County Coroner’s office shed some light on AJ’s cause of death. The autopsy shows that the young boy died from craniocerebral trauma as a result of sustaining “multiple blunt force injuries.”
Both Andrew Freud Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham appeared separately in a McHenry County Court. The two are being held in custody on a $5 million bond, each. Both suspects chose to be represented by public defenders. While Freund Sr. remained emotionless while his charges were read against him, Cunningham cried and looked down while shaking her head. As law enforcement officials detail, both parents allegedly forced AJ to “take a cold shower for an ‘extended period’ of time, then beat him to death. The two will be arraigned tomorrow, April 29, at 9 a.m.
As The Inquisitr noted, Freund Sr. and Cuningham’s recent arrest is not the first time the family has run into trouble with the law. After AJ’s birth, the state’s Department of Children and Family Services began investigating the family, as AJ was found with opiates in his system after being delivered.