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Parents of Missing Boy No Longer Cooperating With Police

Andrew 'AJ' Freund vanished Wednesday night in Illinois
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2019 11:35 AM CDT
JoAnn Cunningham, mother of missing 5-year-old child Andrew "AJ" Freund, stands with her attorney George Killis outside of the Freund home as he speaks on her behalf and pleads with the public to help...   (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP)
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(Newser) – The parents of a missing Illinois child have stopped talking to police as investigators focus on the family home and call it a crime scene, ABC7 reports. The story began Thursday in the city of Crystal Lake when 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund's parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, reported him missing, saying they last saw him the night before. As investigators searched the residence and scoured the area, canine units only found AJ's scent at home, suggesting he hadn't left on foot, and police found no signs of abduction. Now the FBI is involved in investigating a crime that includes 15 canine units, drones, and police agencies, per CNN.

The parents are making public pleas for help, but Cunningham stopped talking to police on her lawyer's advice when she felt she was a suspect: "She is devastated. She's worried," attorney George Kililis tells the Chicago Tribune. "…All she cares about is her little boy. That's it." The father was escorted to a police station Saturday and walked home briskly afterward: "It's been hell," he told reporters. But police say the parents' lack of cooperation has raised their suspicions. Meanwhile, DCFS says it's been investigating allegations of parental neglect at AJ's home and temporarily placed him in a foster home in 2015; the boy was born with opiates in his body. The parents joined at least 200 people at a nearby candlelight vigil for AJ on Saturday night. (Read more missing child stories.)

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