Authorities searching for a missing 5-year-old IL boy who had lived in deplorable conditions dug up his body Wednesday and charged his parents with murder, sadly declaring that the youngster would "no longer have to suffer".
A small memorial sits outside the home of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund, in Crystal Lake, Illinois, on April 24.
AJ's parents told investigators the last time they saw the boy was Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m. when he was going to bed.
Freund and Cunningham reported their son missing on Thursday.
Also Wednesday, an attorney for the boy's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, was spotted entering the Crystal Lake Police Department around 6 a.m. Later, however, her attorneys acknowledged they had urged her to stop communication with police when it appeared to them she had become a suspect.
Early on in their investigation, though, police said they didn't believe the boy was abducted or that he had left the home on foot.
During interviews in the overnight hours, Black said both the mother and the father were confronted with forensic analysis of cellphone evidence developed by investigators. Today police believe his body has been reported to have been recovered near Woodstock, Illinois.
On behalf of the Crystal Lake Police Department, we would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office and the other local, state, and county law enforcement and fire department and emergency management entities.
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Speaking directly to AJ, Black said, "We know you're at peace, playing in heaven's playground".
In December officers came to the home after Cunningham called police from a fast-food restaurant to report her phone had been stolen.
Information provided by the parents led investigators to the site where AJ's body was found.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620.
Officials have not released a cause of death for Andrew pending an autopsy that was expected to take place this week, but both parents have additionally been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated domestic battery, according to Crystal Lake police.
Freund said the family had also searched the neighborhood, local park and a gas station where he likes to buy the boy treats.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has "been involved with the family" since AJ's birth, department spokesman Jassen Strokosch told CNN.
Since the disappearance, the family's history with DCFS and Crystal Lake Police has come to light, with multiple reports of abuse, neglect and drug use.
According to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Freund had his license suspended from October 13, 2015 until January 11, 2016, due to offenses related to when he represented a woman in a marriage dissolution case who went on to become the mother of his dead child.