Body of missing 5-year-old Illinois boy found, parents charged with murder

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. —Police say the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy whose parents reported him missing last week was found buried in a shallow grave and wrapped in plastic in a rural area a few miles from the family's home.

Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said during a news conference that investigators found what they believe to be the remains of Andrew "AJ" Freund early Wednesday in the neighboring city of Woodstock. Efforts are underway to confirm it is AJ's body.

He says they were led to the body after interviewing AJ's parents overnight and presenting them with cellphone evidence.

The parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, each face five counts of first-degree murder and other charges.

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

Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, face murder and other charges in the boy's death. (courtesy: Crystal Lake Police Dept.)

Officers earlier Wednesday removed several items from the home of the child.

Photos and video showed the officers leaving the Crystal Lake home with a shovel, mattress, brown paper bags and plastic storage tub.

Searchers had been scouring the area for the couple's missing son. Authorities said the boys' parents reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

Police said Cunningham had been refusing to cooperate with detectives.

State child welfare officials have taken custody of the couple's 4-year-old son, Parker.

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