Missing Illinois boy’s buried body found; parents charged

Andrew Freund Sr., left, and JoAnn Cunningham (Crystal Lake, Ill., Police Department)McHenry County Sheriff‘s officers and other law enforcement search the area of Route 176 and Dean Street south of Woodstock, Ill., for clues in the disappearance of 5-year-old missing boy Andrew "AJ" Freund, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Brian Hill/Daily Herald via AP)A makeshift memorial grows Monday, April 22, 2019 outside the Dole Avenue home of Andrew "AJ" Freund, age 5, in Crystal Lake, Ill. Police and the FBI continue their investigation into the missing boy. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)This undated photo provided by the Crystal Lake, Illinois Police Department shows Andrew "AJ" Freund. Crystal Lake police say the missing boy‘s Freund‘s parents last saw him about 9 p.m. Wednesday April 17, 2019. Police say Andrew‘s parents reported him missing when they woke up Thursday and couldn‘t find him in their home. Police in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake say an FBI team that specializes in missing children is helping them search for the 5-year-old boy. (Crystal Lake Police Department via AP)A blood hound K-9 officer and his handler sniffs the ground in front of the home of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund on Thursday, April 18, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Crystal Lake police said Friday that they have no indication Andrew "AJ" Freund was abducted. They say canine units only picked up the boy‘s scent within the residence, which indicates Andrew didn‘t leave on foot. Police say Andrew‘s parents last saw him about 9 p.m. Wednesday and reported him missing Thursday when they woke up and couldn‘t find him in the home. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP)JoAnn Cunningham, mother of missing 5-year-old child Andrew "AJ" Freund, stands with her attorney George Killis outside of the Freund home as he speaks on her behalf and pleads with the public to help find AJ on Friday, April 19, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Crystal Lake police said Friday that they have no indication Andrew "AJ" Freund was abducted. They say canine units only picked up the boy‘s scent within the residence, which indicates Andrew didn‘t leave on foot. Police say Andrew‘s parents last saw him about 9 p.m. Wednesday and reported him missing Thursday when they woke up and couldn‘t find him in the home. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP)In this April 24, 2019 is a booking photo provided by the Crystal Lake Police Department of Andrew Freund Sr, who along with his wife Joann Cunningham, have been charged with murder and other charges in the death of their missing son Andrew “AJ” Freund. Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of the 5-year-old boy who went missing last week. Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Freund‘s body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic. (Crystal Lake Police Department via AP)In this April 24, 2019 booking photo provided by the Crystal Lake Police Department of Joann Cunningham who along with her husband Andrew Freund Sr. have been charged with murder and other charges in the death of their missing son Andrew “AJ” Freund. Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of the 5-year-old boy who went missing last week. Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Freund‘s body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic. (Crystal Lake Police Department via AP)

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy who went missing last week, and that his parents have been charged with murder in his death.

Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Andrew “AJ” Freund’s body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic.

He says AJ’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, face murder and other charges in the boy’s death.

Authorities say the boys’ parents reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

Earlier, officers removed several items from the parents’ home.

Photos and video show the officers leaving the home on Wednesday with a shovel, mattress, brown paper bags and plastic storage tub.

On Tuesday afternoon, the department released more than 60 pages of police reports written by officers who responded to various calls about the house.

One report described seeing the home littered with dog feces and urine, and a children’s bedroom where “the smell of feces was overwhelming.” Another report said the officer found the house to be “cluttered, dirty and in disrepair,” and without electrical power.

The heavily-redacted reports also indicate state child welfare workers were called after officers spotted a large bruise on one of the young boys living there, but that the children appeared to be “healthy and happy” and were not removed from the house.

Cunningham and Freund were in court Tuesday seeking custody of their 4-year-old son, Parker. Parker was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday after Andrew was reported missing by his parents. The hearing was continued pending the appointment of a lawyer to represent the child.

The Northwest Herald reported Tuesday that the day the boy disappeared, Cunningham was arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant just after she and Andrew Freund Sr. went to the Crystal Park Police Department to speak with investigators about their son. The paper said she was also scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday on the traffic case.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.