Andrew Freund

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Update Expected In Investigation Of Missing Crystal Lake Boy, Andrew 'AJ' Freund

April 24, 2019 - 9:41 am
Categories: 

UPDATE: Media outlets citing unidentified sources are reporting the body of the missing 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy, Andrew “AJ” Freund, has been found.

According to CBS-2, the body was found after one of his parents confessed, turning on the other.

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An update is expected Wednesday afternoon in the investigation into the disappearance of a 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy.

Andrew "AJ" Fruend was last seen around 9 p.m. last Wednesday, April 17, in the first block of Dole Avenue. His parents reported him missing on Thursday morning. 

Crystal Lake Police announced Wednesday they would hold a press conference at 1 p.m. inside City Hall. Police Chief James Black and FBI Special Agent Colin McGuire were scheduled to speak about the case. The press conference was initially scheduled for noon, but was delayed until 1 p.m., police said. No reason was given for the change. 

Police were seen searching a wooded area near Gayle Drive and Dean Street in Woodstock on Wednesday morning, but it was unclear if the search was related to the Freund case. Investigators were also back at the family’s home on Wednesday morning. They were  seen removing several large bags, and a large plastic bin, a shovel, and a child's mattress and loading them into an evidence team van. A McHenry County Animal Control team also removed a dog from the family’s home Wednesday morning.

Wednesday marked one full week since AJ was last seen. 

AJ's parents reported him missing last Thursday morning. They told police they last saw AJ when he went to bed, but were unable to find him when they woke up Thursday morning. 

The boy's father, Andrew Freund Sr., called police to report that his son was missing. The 911 call was released Tuesday. According to police, the call was made at 9:04 a.m. on April 18.

Freund told police, "I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and when I got back from the doctor’s appointment, I checked in on him to say ‘good morning.'"  

Dispatcher: What time was that? 

"About 8:15-8:30 a.m.," Freund said.

Freund tells the dispatcher that he last saw Andrew at about 9:30 p.m. the night before when he was going to bed. Freund said he and the 5-year old’s mother looked throughout the house and neighborhood for AJ, but there was no sign of him.   

"We canvassed the neighborhood. I went to the local park, the local gas station down here where we sometimes take him to buy treats. I spoke with the assistant principal over there at the school, where the park is. They haven’t seen him or any other child. I have no idea where he would be," he said.

The dispatcher asks Freund whether the house was thoroughly checked and Freund replies, "Closets, the basement, the garage. Everywhere."

He tells the dispatcher that none of the home’s doors or windows were open.

Andrew "AJ" Freund /Crystal Lake Police

Police continued to search for Andrew in Lippold Park in Crystal Lake on Monday, but called off the search early because of inclement weather, Crystal Lake Police Deputy Chief Tom Kotlowski said in a statement. The search will continue Tuesday, with the assistance of Illinois State Police piloting a plane over the area.

Crystal Lake Police are also asking residents of the area to provide any doorbell video they may have from Monday, April 15 through Thursday morning. Anyone who may have video that could help investigators is asked to email the videos or images to jmattson@crystallake.org

Three days into the search, police began focusing their search on the family’s Crystal Lake home, saying they do not believe the child was abducted or that he left the house on foot.

Andrew “AJ” Freund House
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

Police said Monday that Andrew’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, was being “uncooperative” with investigators.

Her attorneys said they told her to stop answering questions after police started to treat her as a suspect.

“We do not have her listed as a suspect, we do not currently have any suspects in this case,” Kotlowski said in response to the lawyers’ statement.

Both parents appeared Tuesday in McHenry County Circuit Court for a hearing as they seek to regain custody of their other son, who was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday after AJ was reported missing. The hearing was continued, with the next hearing set for Monday at 9 a.m. CT.

DCFS has had repeated contact with Andrew’s family since he was born with opiates in his system in 2013.

Read below the past 5 years’ worth of police calls for service at the Freund residence:

AJ is described as a 3-foot-5, 70-pound boy with short, blond hair, police said. He was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

He was also wearing green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shoes, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Andrew "AJ" Fruend's disappearance remains under investigation by local law enforcement agencies and the FBI. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 815-356-3620 or text an anonymous tip to 847411 with “CLPDTIP” at the beginning of the message.

(WBBM Newsradio and the Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)