Chicago (CBS) — A call for comfort echoed through a Crystal Lake park as people gathered with candles and looks of concern for a missing five-year-old.
Andrew “A.J.” Freund Jr. went to bed Wednesday night. His parents say they realized he was missing Thursday morning.
The boy’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., was at the vigil but did not publicly speak to those attending “Light the Way for A.J.” He also did not tell reporters what he had talked about with police hours earlier.
Freund Sr. left with law enforcement from the family’s home, the place where A.J. reportedly went missing, and spent at least three hours at the Crystal Lake Police Department before eventually walking home.
“Please pray for the safe return of my son,” Freund Sr. said.
Through her attorney Friday, A.J.’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, had a similar reply.
“Ms. Cunningham doesn’t know what happened to A.J. and had nothing to do with the disappearance of A.J.,” her attorney George Kililis said.
She added she thinks she’s a suspect in her son’s disappearance, which has launched a police search of neighbors’ cars, garages and trash cans.
However, investigators say there’s no indication of an abduction.
Police dogs found no evidence of A.J. leaving the home. Dogs did pick up his scent in the trunk of his parents’ car.
Former police officer Scott Milliman assembled dozens of community members in an effort to help find the 5-year-old.
“I don’t know the family, but A.J.’s a Crystal Lake resident and he’s one of us,” Milliman said.
CBS 2 reached out to police to ask what was discussed inside the police department today and if there are any suspects in the case, but our messages were not returned.