Parental rights case for AJ Freund's younger brother waiting for paternity test results

  • AJ Freund

    AJ Freund

  • JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. of Crystal Lake are charged with killing their 5-year-old son, AJ, in April.

    JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. of Crystal Lake are charged with killing their 5-year-old son, AJ, in April.

Updated 5/30/2019 7:35 PM

Court proceedings to terminate the parental rights to the younger brother of slain 5-year old AJ Freund of Crystal Lake have been postponed while authorities await the results of a paternity test.

Neither the boy's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, 36, nor father, Andrew Freund, 60, appeared in court Thursday for a brief hearing on the matter.


The Crystal Lake couple are being held in the McHenry County jail on $5 million bail while awaiting trial on murder charges in AJ's killing.

Testimony in court Thursday indicated paternity testing is pending to determine if Andrew Freund truly is the younger boy's father.

"He's doing wonderfully," court-appointed guardian Jeanne A. Barrett said of the boy Thursday.

She declined to elaborate or provide details about his living situation.

"A huge concern in this case is his privacy," she said.

State authorities were ordered by June 23 to produce the paternity results and other reports regarding the younger brother. A court date on those matters was set for June 24.

Authorities are seeking to terminate Freund and Cunningham's parental rights to the younger child. Cunningham was seeking to regain custody of the boy before she and Andrew Freund were arrested in AJ's slaying.

AJ was reporting missing by his parents April 18, but police later said the boy had been killed three days earlier, wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave in a field near Woodstock. His remains were recovered April 24.

The parents each face multiple charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, domestic battery and failure to report a missing child or child death. Andrew Freund faces an additional charge of concealment of a death. The next court date for each on the criminal charges is June 18.

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