We’re learning more about the allegations against Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, the Illinois parents of murdered 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund Jr. Newly reported court documents say that there’s video evidence of abuse in the month before the boy’s death. Other information details what allegedly happened at the time of the homicide.
It was previously alleged that the parents put AJ in a cold shower and hit him. They only reported him missing April 18 — three days later. 911 audio shows Freund Sr. claiming not to know his son’s whereabouts. Police said he knew the entire time. The defendants had buried the boy in a shallow grave in Woodstock, Illinois, authorities said.
Now we know that Freund Sr. admitted to that the death stemmed from an April 15 incident, according to prosecutors in documents obtained by ABC 13. AJ told a falsehood about his soiled underwear, and he was forced into to a cold shower for 20 minutes, according to Freund Sr.’s alleged account. The father claimed to make the boy go to bed, “cold, wet and naked,” authorities said.
Cunningham allegedly searched Sr.’s phone for “Child CPR.” Freund Sr. said that his son died at some point. They put AJ’s body in a tote bag in the basement the following day, Freund Sr. allegedly said. The father admitted that on April 17, he put his son in trash bags, and drove him to Woodstock, where he buried him in a grave, and covered it with straw.
There’s also video on Cunningham’s phone from over a month before that shows the victim having bruises on his face and body, according to prosecutors. Freund Sr. blamed this on her.
AJ’s parents recently gave up custody of AJ’s younger brother to the state. Police had visited the Freund home at least 17 times over a five-year span.
[Mugshot via Crystal Lake Police Department]