Police Release Father's 911 Call for 5-Year-Old Son Who Went Missing from Home
On Tuesday, the Crystal Lake Police Department released the redacted 911 audio for a call from a father about his missing son. During the call, the man revealed that he didn’t know where his son could be.
The original call was made last Thursday revealing that the 5-year-old boy was missing.
Chicago resident Andrew Freund Sr. told a 911 dispatcher that he’d searched in his house, garage, and neighborhood for his missing son, Andrew "AJ" Freund, 5. Andrew Sr. revealed that the boy wasn't home when he returned from a doctor's appointment.
During the redacted call the father shared that he’d put AJ to bed at around 9:30 p.m. the night before. He only discovered that the child was missing when he went into his room to check in on him the next morning.
The family even searched at the nearest park and a "local gas station down here where we sometimes take him to buy treats." The boy’s father also said: "I spoke with the assistant principal over there at the school."
According to him, "They haven't seen him or any other child. I have no idea where he would be." On the same day the call was released, the police were still searching in a park in the heavily wooded Chicago suburb.
They used sonar to search through local ponds at Veteran Acres Park. The Illinois State Police plane was used to search the area to guide officers searching the ground.
Detectives also asked the family’s neighbors to hand over home surveillance video to look for clues. However, the boy's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, was said to be refusing to cooperate with detectives.
Reports state that the day the boy disappeared his mother was arrested on an outstanding traffic warrant. This occurred just after both parents went to Crystal Park Police Department to talk to investigators about their missing son.
She was also scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday on the traffic case. Crystal Lake Deputy Chief Tom Kotlowski said: "[Cunningham] is a valuable resource because she was the last to see Andrew."
The father was cooperating with detectives and spent at least three hours at the Police Department on Saturday. The I DCFS revealed that they had interacted with the family before.
This was, in part, from the fact that the boy was born with opiates in his system. At the time, AJ had spent nearly two years in foster care before he was returned to his parents.
The family was contacted twice in 2018 but deemed allegations of neglect and abuse unfounded. Late last week, Cunningham's attorney, George Kililis, shared: "She doesn't know what happened to A.J. and had nothing to do with the disappearance of A.J.," and that "She's worried sick."
People in and around Crystal Lake have continued to show their support for AJ’s safe return. Some people dropped off cards and put up ribbons around his home.
She appeared in court on Tuesday in front of a judge at the McHenry County Courthouse in the hopes of regaining custody of her younger son Parker, 3. The other boy was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (I DCFS) after AJ disappeared.
Cunningham will have another hearing next Monday to decide whether the parents should get custody of the 3-year-old.