Police still investigating Crystal Lake boy's disappearance; parents attend vigil

Neighbors of missing Crystal Lake 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund said police were back at his parents' home briefly Saturday, but authorities have provided no updates regarding the now three-day-old investigation into his disappearance.

ABC 7 Chicago and WGN-TV reported that the boy's father, Andrew Freund Sr., returned to the house Saturday afternoon after he had been at the Crystal Lake police station.

The boy's parents Saturday evening separately attended a vigil in Crystal Lake, and his mother spoke in an interview for “Good Morning America,” ABC 7 reported.

“I just want my kids home together,” a weeping JoAnn Cunningham said on the program, accompanied by the attorney she has retained.

Several people were lighting candles at the vigil that was called “Light the Way for A.J.”

Police officials said Friday they have no reason to believe Andrew was abducted and have focused their investigation efforts on the house on the 0-100 block of Dole Avenue. Canine teams were used to determine if the boy had wandered away from the home or been taken, but the dogs tracked the boy's “scent” only inside the home, police said.

The boy was reported missing Thursday morning, with his parents saying they hadn't seen him since he went to bed at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Crystal Lake police would not say whether the boy's parents were suspects. Cunningham's lawyer, George Kililis, told reporters Friday that Cunningham initially was cooperating with police.

Kililis asserted Cunningham's innocence in her son's disappearance while expressing concerns that police seemed to consider her a suspect, saying that because of that, he advised her to exercise her right to remain silent.

The boy's father told WGN that the last 48 hours have been “hell on earth” and that he's trying to help where he can in the investigation he called a “continuing process.”

Illinois Department of Child and Family Services officials acknowledged the agency had numerous contacts with Andrew and his parents over the years, starting with his birth in 2013. The boy's younger brother was taken into DCFS custody and placed in a different home Thursday.

Andrew is roughly 3 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 70 pounds. He has short, blond hair. He was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants, police said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the department at (815) 356-3620. An anonymous tip can be sent to the Crystal Lake Police Department by texting the word CLPDTIP along with the tip information to 847411 (TIP411).

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Andrew "AJ" Freund
  Police carry large cardboard sheets Friday into the home of Andrew "AJ" Freund, 5, who has been missing since he was last seen at 9 p.m. Wednesday at his home on Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake. John Starks/
JoAnn Cunningham, mother of missing 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund, appears in an interview Saturday for ABC's "Good Morning America." Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago
JoAnn Cunningham, mother of missing 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund, in pink hat, joins a vigil for AJ Saturday evening in Crystal Lake. Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago
A vigil was held Saturday evening in Crystal Lake for missing 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago
A vigil called "Light the way for A.J." was held Saturday evening in Crystal Lake for missing 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago
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