CHICAGO (CBS) — It comes far too late, but A.J. Freund is finally loved.
“He probably never had anybody love him, and you can see the community love this boy,” said Al Lopriore, who attended a vigil for A.J. Wednesday night.READ MORE: XS Tennis Summer Bash Hosts Free COVID-19 Vaccination Event With Concert
Missing for nearly a week, the search for A.J. ended in a rural field, with his parents in jail and accused of dumping the 5-year-old’s body in a shallow grave about eight miles from the family’s Crystal Lake home.
“Both parents provided information that led to what we believe is the recovery of deceased subject A.J.,” said Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black.
It started with A.J.’s father making a 911 call last Thursday then pleading for his son’s safe return.READ MORE: DaBaby Pulled From Lollapalooza Lineup Amid Backlash Over 'Insensitive' Comments on HIV/AIDS
Neither parent was overly cooperative with police as investigators focused on the family home, searching through the trash, nearby lakes and trails.
From the start police never thought an abduction occurred.
Wednesday police removed a shovel and the final pieces of evidence from the home.
“We know you are at peace playing in heaven’s playground and are happy you no longer have to suffer,” said Black.MORE NEWS: Three Shot While Standing On Porch On West Side
“He’s been brought back. He hasn’t been brought home, but he’s back, and we are going to take care of him,” said Kerry Sivertsen, who also attended the vigil for A.J.