Crystal Lake boy apparently beaten to death; parents held on $5M bond each

Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham face multiple charges in the death of their 5-year-old son (Mugshots provided by Crystal Lake Police Department)

WOODSTOCK, Ill. — New details were revealed Thursday in the case of a missing 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy who was found dead. AJ Freund was apparently beaten to death.

Andrew Freund Sr., 60, and Joann Cunningham, 36, are being held on $5 million bond each after appearing separately in McHenry County Court. They both opted for public defenders.

Both face multiple charges including five counts of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and a count of failure to report a missing child or death. Freund is also charged with concealing a homicide.

Cunningham, who is seven months pregnant, cried as the judge listed the charges, shaking her head upon hearing "aggravated battery."

Freund Sr. remained stoic throughout his hearing, even as prosecutors revealed that AJ died after being struck on his body following a forced cold shower for what was described as "an extended time."

Confronted with forensic evidence, both parents gave up information which led to locating AJ's body Wednesday in Woodstock. Police said the body was wrapped in plastic and in a shallow grave.

The McHenry County Coroner is performing an autopsy Thursday on the body.

The parents will be arraigned on April 29 at 9 a.m.

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