CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) — Wrecking crews destroyed a home which was the scene of a horrible crime in Crystal Lake.

It was the home where AJ Freund suffered intense abuse, which eventually left him dead.

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CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli spoke to those who lived near the home and are relieved to see it gone.

Shortly after the sun came up, the house where AJ Freund lost his life began to come down.

“Happy to see the house finally taken down,” said Nick Rugo from Crystal Lake.

“The bad memories of what happened at the house will no longer be in McHenry County,” added Brandon Chaples.

“It’s closure to see it going down,” remarked Amy Paulus, also of Crystal Lake.

Closure coupled with the desire to line Dole Avenue to honor a five-year-old who prosecutors said was beaten to death inside the home by his parents.

“It’s a house of horrors,” said Crystal Lake resident Trisha Heindrich.

“Hearing the details of what they put that child through is unthinkable,” Rugo said.

So unthinkable that many felt the need to be outside the home where AJ lived and died less than one year ago.

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“I didn’t know him,” said Trisha Heidrich. I did not know him personally.”

And neither did Terra Bedi, but yet she was moved to tears knowing what happened.

“Even though I did not know AJ, I feel for this kid,” Bedi said.

As do many others gathered outside the 68-year-old home.

“Hopefully you’re (AJ) at peace and you know many people love you,” Paulus said.

“Rest in paradise, sweet little boy,” Bedi added.

Paradise lost, and they say now found by AJ Freund.

AJ’s mom Joanne Cunningham plead guilty to murder and is awaiting sentencing. His father Andrew Freund, Sr. is fighting the charges and is due in court next month.


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