CHICAGO (CBS) — The city of Crystal Lake wants to tear down the house where 5-year-old A.J. Freund allegedly was beaten to death in April.
Freund’s parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr., have been indicted on a combined 61 charges of murder, aggravated battery, and concealing a homicide in A.J.’s death in April. They are accused of beating him to death, burying him in a field, and reporting him missing in an effort to cover up the murder. They have pleaded not guilty.
Crystal Lake’s special counsel has filed a complaint seeking approval to demolish the home where A.J. allegedly was killed, after building inspectors found rodents, mold, and other code violations that left the house uninhabitable.
Attorney David Pardys said A.J.’s parents were served with the complaint at the McHenry County Jail where they’re being held on first-degree murder charges. According to published reports, the house is in foreclosure, and it will ultimately be up to the new owner to determine what to do with the home. Several lien holders on the property also could become involved in the process.
The home has been unoccupied since A.J.’s parents were arrested for his murder.
Police reports noted deplorable conditions inside the family home months before A.J.’s death.
According to police reports from a visit to the home in December, officers noted they found the home covered in dog feces and urine, several broken windows, missing floor tiles, visible water damage and exposed water pipes in the ceiling, a door covered in a brown substance, and furniture covered in piles of clothing, boxes, and bags.
Police also stated the boys’ bedroom window was open and “the smell of feces was overwhelming” in their room.