Parents charged with murder in case of missing Illinois boy

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In a redacted 911 call released by Crystal Lake police Tuesday, Freund told a police dispatcher that he discovered his son missing April 18 after coming home from a doctor's appointment between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m.

The parents of a 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy who went missing Thursday were charged with his alleged murder on Wednesday, police announced at a conference.

Around the same time, an evidence technician and other officers went to the family home and were seen removing a large tub, paper bags, a shovel and a small mattress.

Both Joann and Drew are now in police custody and will eventually be transported to McHenry County Jail where they will await a bond hearing.

They both face charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated domestic battery and failure to report a missing or child death, Black said.

"To AJ's family: It is my hope that you may have some solace in knowing that AJ is no longer suffering and his killers have been brought to justice", Black said. The agencies have been searching for Andrew "AJ" Freund since his parents reported him missing last Thursday. That was when, police said, Cunningham stopped cooperating with authorities.

Officers arrived at the home less than five minutes later and the search for the missing 5-year-old began.

Once presented with evidence obtained by investigators, both Joann and Andrew Sr. provided information that ultimately led to the recovery of the deceased subject.

The Crystal Lake Police Department had said on April 19 that after an extensive search of the surrounding area, officers believed the boy never left his home and was not abducted, seemingly implicating the parents.

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Crystal Lake police officers, McHenry County sheriff's deputies, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other law enforcement converged on the Woodstock property early Wednesday morning and located the body buried in a shallow grave wrapped in plastic, Black said.

George Kililis, an attorney for Cunningham, told CNN affiliate WLS the boy's mother "doesn't know what happened to AJ, and had nothing to do with the disappearance of AJ".

The body was buried in a shallow grave, wrapped in plastic, in a rural area near Woodstock, Illinois, Black said.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, known as DCFS, had contact with the family since AJ was born with opiates in his body in 2013.

Tuesday's police search focused on Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake, with police using sonar to check the pond.

After one visit, an officer wrote that conditions were "not be up to an acceptable standard of living with two young children living at the residence".

Carolina Bermudez, who lives near the property in Woodstock, said a police officer in an unmarked auto knocked on her door at about 6 a.m. Wednesday, and her husband answered.

Sources also told ABC 7 that AJ's mother was spotted entering the Crystal Lake Police Department around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, and spent several hours there. The agency has had contact with the family on and off until late a year ago.

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