More details around the allegations against Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, the Illinois parents of murdered 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund Jr. emerged in court documents.
Newly reported court documents claim that video evidence of abuse in the month before the boy’s death exists. Other information details also alleged what happened at the time of the homicide.
It was previously alleged that the parents put AJ in a cold shower and hit him till he died. They reported him missing April 18, three days after his death.
A 911 audio shows Freund Sr. claiming the young boy is missing. Police believe the defendants had buried the boy in a shallow grave in Woodstock, Illinois before making the 911 call.
According to prosecutors in documents, Freund Sr. later admitted that his son's death stemmed from an April 15 incident. Freund reportedly revealed that AJ had allegedly lied about his soiled underwear, and was then punished by being forced into a cold shower for 20 minutes.
The father claimed to make the boy go to bed, “cold, wet and naked,” revealed authorities. Cunningham allegedly searched Sr.’s phone for “Child CPR” later that night.
Freund Sr. said that his son died at some point. He allegedly also revealed that they put AJ’s body in a tote bag in the basement the following day.
According to authorities, the father admitted that on April 17, he put his son in trash bags before driving to Woodstock. He allegedly buried him in a grave and covered it with straw.
Court documents also state there is video footage on Cunningham’s phone from over a month. According to prosecuters, the video shows the victim had bruises on his face and body and 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.
Earlier this week, it was alleged that AJ had once hinted that he was beaten with a belt to a doctor who reported it. However, state child welfare officials investigated a hotline complaint from police and decided there was no credible evidence to support the allegation.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reportedly is limited in its legal authority to remove a child from a parent’s custody and only do so if there is an “imminent and immediate” risk of harm.