Officers on Wednesday removed several items from the home of an IL couple whose 5-year-old son has been missing for almost a week, including a shovel, mattress, paper bags and a plastic storage tub.
The almost weeklong search for missing 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy Andrew "AJ" Freund ended Wednesday morning with the discovery of his body in an unincorporated area near Woodstock, according to a source close to the case.
Andrew "AJ" Freund was reported missing from his Crystal Lake home by his family Thursday morning. Andrew Freund Sr. told dispatchers during a 911 call that he last saw his son when he put him to bed around 9:30 p.m. April 17 at the family home on Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake.
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"Never would I think that they couldn't be back there by themselves", Bermudez said. But police said it was likely that AJ had not walked away and was not abducted, and instead focused the investigation on the family home.
Speaking at the noon news conference will be Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black and FBI Special Agent Colin McGuire. An officer wrote the two children appeared "healthy and happy" and that child welfare authorities said the lack of electricity did not warrant their investigation. According to the report, a DCFS caseworker was unable to determine what caused the bruise, which the boy and his mother both said could have been caused by the family's pet dog, Lucy. There is still police activity in the area of Gale Drive and Dean Street.
It's been one week since AJ's parents reported him missing and the case has taken many twists and turns since then. When WGN questioned Attorney George Killis as to why he was at the police station, he had no comment.
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Cunningham previously denied any involvement with AJ's death, and her lawyer said that she "doesn't know what happened to AJ, and had nothing to do with the disappearance of AJ", adding that she was "worried sick" and "devastated".
Investigators removed several items, including a dirt covered shovel, a mattress, two brown bags and a bin from the family home in Crystal Lake Wednesday morning. It's a disturbing development in a case that captured national attention and prompted a search effort that included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and more than a dozen police departments.
Now, police have charged Freund and A.J.'s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, with five counts of first-degree murder, and a host of other crimes, in the death of their son.
Police on Tuesday continue the search for the boy.
One report described seeing the home littered with dog feces and urine, and a children's bedroom where "the smell of feces was overwhelming".
However, Kililis told "Good Morning America" over the weekend that when Cunningham reported AJ missing, she spoke with multiple officers and "was fully cooperating".
Last Thursday while still searching for Andrew, authorities took custody of his younger brother, who was placed in another home under a DCFS safety plan, the agency said.