CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s been nearly five days since 5-year-old Andrew “A.J.” Freund disappeared from his home in Crystal Lake, and it’s still a mystery what happened to him.
Police said A.J.’s mother, who is seven months pregnant, is not cooperating, and their investigation remains focused on the family’s home, noting there is no indication of an abduction.
Neighbors said they are still praying for a good outcome, hoping A.J. will be found soon.
A.J.’s parents have said they last saw him when they put him to bed Wednesday night. They said they discovered him missing when they woke up Thursday morning.
On Friday, police said canine teams brought in to help search for A.J. only picked up his scent inside the home, indicating he did not walk out of the house. Police also said there is no indication an abduction had taken place, and investigators were focusing on the family’s home.
Neighbors spent Easter Sunday praying for A.J.’s safe return.
“Everybody is trying to carry some normal part of life, but where is A.J.? It’s heartbreaking that we don’t know. We’re sick over where is he. It’s just, you can’t think about anything else. No one can,” neighbor Janelle Butler said.
His father, Andrew Freund Sr., spent at least three hours at the Crystal Lake Police Department on Saturday.
Police said A.J.’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, has been uncooperative. She has hired an attorney to represent her. Criminal defense attorney George Kililis insisted Cunningham had nothing to do with her son’s disappearance.
“She doesn’t know what happened to A.J. and had nothing to do with the disappearance of A.J.,” Kililis said. “She’s worried sick.”
Kililis said Cunningham was helpful during the investigation, but when it became clear police considered her a suspect, Kililis advised her to stop all communications.
Kililis told CBS 2 he advised his client against taking a polygraph test.
Meantime, A.J.’s younger brother was placed in another home under an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services safety plan on Thursday.
DCFS has said they have been in contact with A.J.’s parents since 2013, when he was born with opiates in his system amid allegations of neglect. In 2013, A.J. was placed into foster care when he was about a month old, and was returned to his parents about 18 months later, in June 2015.
In March 2018, a DCFS investigation deemed neglect allegations against both parents unfounded, and Cunningham agreed to reenter drug treatment.
In December of last year, DCFS said allegations of abuse and neglect against the mother were unfounded.