By Tony Winterburn • 08 February 2020 • 11:37
JoAnn Cunningham Andrew Freund Sr were particularly brutal to the young boy
“Maybe mommy didn’t mean to hurt me”: A five-year-old boy who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his mother made that haunting remark to a doctor months before his tiny body was found wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave days after dying from multiple blows to the head.
Five-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund was found buried in a shallow grave near his home
Police were led to the grisly discovery by his father, who had earlier reported his son missing after being tucked up in bed at home in Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA.
Investigators later found a shovel in the family home, as well as a photo of a shopping list for items such as duct tape, plastic gloves, air freshener, and bleach, according to court records.
Police described the house as disgusting and un-habitual
Documents from the state Department of Child and Family Services had visited the family’s home at least 17 times after AJ’s birth amid allegations of abuse and neglect. AJ was placed into a foster home in November 2013, a month after he was born with drugs in his system, he was later returned to his parents’ home in June 2015.
His father, Andrew Freund Sr, 61, denies murdering AJ on April 14 last year. He will next appear in court on February 27. AJ’s mother, Joann Cunningham, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. She will learn her sentencing date next month.
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