AJ's parents in court on case concerning younger son

  • AJ Freund

    AJ Freund

  • JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr.

    JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr.

Updated 9/9/2019 4:21 PM

The parents of slain 5-year old AJ Freund made a brief appearance in McHenry County court Monday as authorities continue efforts to terminate their parental rights to AJ's younger brother.

The 4-year old boy was removed from Crystal Lake home of Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham on April 18, after AJ was reported missing. On April 24, Freund, 60, and Cunningham, 36, were charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, failure to report a missing child or child death and other offenses after AJ's body was discovered in a shallow grave near Woodstock. They remain jailed on $5 million bail.


No additional information was presented about the case Monday, and McHenry County family court Judge Christopher Harmon set the next court date for Oct. 21.

Cunningham had sought to regain custody of the 4-year-old before she and Freund were arrested. Prosecutors subsequently began an action to terminate parental rights.

Still unclear is the status of a girl born to Cunningham in jail on May 31. Court-ordered tests showed the biological father was not Freund but a 37-year-old man who lived with the couple for a time.

The baby girl's father was not in court Monday, but his court-appointed attorney said he's interested in having a role in the girl's life. The man is wanted by authorities after failing to appear in court as scheduled Sept. 3. On Sept. 5, Judge Michael E. Coppedge agreed with prosecutors' requests to revoke the man's probation stemming from an unrelated aggravated battery conviction.

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