5-year-old Illinois boy killed days before reported missing

Parents charged with first-degree murder

WOODSTOCK, Ill. - Police say an Illinois couple who reported their 5-year-old son missing last week killed him days earlier by beating him and forcing him to remain in a cold shower for an extended period of time.

Those allegations are laid out in a criminal complaint filed Thursday against Joann Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. They face first-degree murder, aggravated battery and several other charges in the death of Andrew "AJ" Freund.

During a brief court hearing Thursday, a judge set bail at $5 million each.

According to the complaint, AJ was killed about three days before his father called police to report that his son had disappeared. A body believed to be AJ's was found Wednesday, wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave in a wooded area a few miles from the family's Crystal Lake home.

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11 a.m. EDT

A judge has set bail at $5 million each for an Illinois mother and father charged with murder in the death of their 5-year-old son.

Joann Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. appeared separately on Thursday morning at the McHenry County Jail during a hearing in which a prosecutor told Judge Mark Gerhardt that Freund allegedly beat Andrew "AJ" Freund and forced him into a cold shower.

The judge's order means that each of the parents would each have to post 10 %, or $500,000 to be released from jail.

The parents reported the boy missing last week. On Wednesday, the boy's father provided information that led to the discovery of a body believed to be that of the boy in a shallow grave a few miles from the family's Crystal Lake home.

The parents are charged with first-degree murder and several other felony charges.
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9:15 a.m. EDT

An Illinois couple is due in court on charges accusing them in the death of their 5-year-old son after a body believed to be his was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave.

McHenry County sheriff's records show 36-year-old JoAnn Cunningham and 60-year-old Andrew Freund Sr. of Crystal Lake have a Thursday morning hearing.

They were arrested Wednesday and face murder and battery charges in the killing of Andrew "AJ" Freund.

Authorities say an autopsy could happen Thursday.

Cunningham and Freund reported AJ missing a week ago and authorities used sonar and canine units to search the area for the boy. On Wednesday, detectives confronted the parents with cellphone data evidence, which led investigators to the boy's body in a "makeshift grave" near a farm access road.

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