Public visitation service set for Andrew "AJ" Freund
A public visitation service is scheduled for Friday, May 3, for Andrew "AJ" Freund, the 5-year-old described in his obituary as "a ray of sunshine with a smile that could light up the room."
AJ, of Crystal Lake, is believed to have died April 15, according to criminal complaints charging his parents with murder. His father, Andrew Freund Sr., call 911 to report AJ missing three days later and the child's body was found Wednesday in a shallow grave south of Woodstock. He had been killed by being struck in the head multiple times, the McHenry County coroner's office reported.
The public visitation in honor of AJ will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave. (Route 176), Crystal Lake.
The obituary also refers to a gofundme fundraising account, at $29,000 as of late Friday afternoon, that says the funds will go to funeral costs and to a fund for AJ's younger brother.
"AJ got to be both the little brother and the big brother," the obituary says, describing AJ as "a big fan of hugs" who loved to draw, read books, make maps, put puzzles together and build Legos.
"He was a smart kid and couldn't wait to start kindergarten in the fall and make new friends," the obituary states before closing with a message to community members who searched for and prayed for the 5-year-old.
"AJ's family and friends would like to the thank Crystal Lake and surrounding communities for their generosity, prayers and outpouring love and support. As difficult and tragic as this is, may AJ's death bring awareness and hope to other children living under abusive conditions. No child deserves this. Let us rise up and make sure it does not happen to other innocent children."