The combination of these undated photos provided by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department in Woodstock, Ill., on Thursday 25 April 2019 gives JoAnn Cunningham, left, and Andrew Freund Sr. The two are charged in the murder of their five-year-old son, Andrew “AJ” Freund. A criminal complaint filed Thursday, April 25, 2019, outlines in the first-degree murder, aggravated battery and several other charges against the couple. A court bail of $5 million for each parent. (McHenry County Sheriff’s Department via AP)
Illinois parents are facing murder charges in the beating death of their son, the 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund, whose body was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave. The family had previously been the interaction with the child, the well-being of the employees. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Friday released the following timeline of the agency and the interaction with Joann Cunningham, 36, and Andrew Freund, Sr., 60.
June 7, 2012: DCFS receives a call to the hotline alleged Cunningham was the abuse of prescription drugs and neglecting her child. The report is unfounded and removed.
Dec. 24, 2012: DCFS receives a call to the hotline alleging the Cunningham’s oldest son is neglected and it is the abuse of prescription drugs and has psychological problems. The report is unfounded and removed.
Oct. 14, 2013: Cunningham gives birth to Andrew “AJ” Freund.
Oct. 16, 2013: Cunningham AJ, a positive test for opiates and benzodiazepines. The boy has been removed from the care of his mother.
Nov. 12 January 2013: DCFS takes protective custody of AJ.
Nov. 14, 2013: DCFS has been granted temporary custody of AJ in juvenile court. The Youth Service Bureau of Illinois assigned to provide services to the family. Cunningham and Freund participate in a drug treatment program.
June 2015: Judge orders AJ back to Cunningham.
June 2015 to April 2016: Youth Service Bureau worker 17 unannounced and nine scheduled visits to the parents at home. The employee does not meet the signs of abuse or neglect.
Aug. 28, 2015: the Employee is informed of the father’s drug test was invalid.
April 2016: AJ’s juvenile court case is closed.
March 21, 2018: DCFS receives a hotline report alleging Cunningham was taken to the emergency room after being found to react in a car. He was observed in hospital to have strange bruises on his face. DCFS employee makes failed attempts to get the children 21 March, 29 March and 9 April 2018.
April 25, 2018: DCFS investigator with Cunningham, AJ and his younger brother. Cunningham was interviewed while the boys played outside. DCFS investigator found that the boys to be clean and no signs of abuse.
May 17, 2018: DCFS investigator completed the last house for the assessment of safety. Both boys have been found to be clean and properly dressed. Cunningham reports a history of drug use and the current drug treatment. The property is found to be clean, tidy and sufficiently furnished.
May 18, 2018: DCFS investigator examines Cunningham’s participation in a drug treatment program. The report of March 2018 was unfounded and the investigation closed.
Dec. 18, 2018: the Two boys were taken into protective custody, and Cunningham was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Police find a large bruise on AJ’s hip and found the ceiling falling, the floor torn, and the children in the bedroom of the smell of dog urine.
The younger brother is not busy with a DCFS investigator. The child appears healthy and well cared for. AJ is an interview, he said he was bruised when the family dog pawed him.
DCFS investigator interviews Cunningham, who admits that the dog feces and urine were in the house, but says they were growing. Andrew Freund Sr. bonds Cunningham and they request to be tested for drugs. DCFS investigator ends protective custody and the children are back home.
DCFS investigator asks Cunningham to take AJ for medical care and an emergency room physician examines the boy. The doctor could not say what the cause of the boy’s injury, but was worried because AJ said, “maybe someone hit me with a belt. Maybe mommy didn’t mean to hurt me.”
DCFS investigator contacts Freund to catch up with the children from the hospital to the home environment can be assessed. The father was asked to stay in the house as a safety measure.
Dec. 19, 2018: DCFS investigator conducts unannounced home visit and found a living room and a dining room full of clothes and toys. The kitchen was clean and the floor was missing tiles. The ceiling was not falling and the investigator felt a slight smell of dogs urine. No feces or urine was observed on the floor. Andrew Freund Sr. denies corporal punishment and denies Cunningham drugs used.
Dec. 20, 2018: DCFS investigator spoke with the past DCFS investigator on her case and findings.
Jan. 4, 2019: DCFS unfounded the report due to lack of evidence for cuts, welt and bruise assertion.
April 18, 2019: Cunningham and Freund report, Andrew is missing. DCFS receives hotline report alleging neglect and inadequate supervision. Police find the house has ripped up floors, food are and clothes and garbage everywhere. The young brother is taken into the protective custody and placed with a foster parent. He seems healthy and shows no obvious signs of abuse or neglect.
April 24, 2019: Police find AJ’s body. They arrested Cunningham, and Freund murder counts and other charges in connection with his death.
Source: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services