Tag Archives: 5yearold

5-Year-Old A.J. Freund Died From Repeated Blows to the Head in Fatal Beating, Coroner Says

5-Year-Old A.J. Freund Died From Repeated Blows to the Head in Fatal Beating, Coroner SaysScott Olson/GettyAndrew “A.J.” Freund, the 5-year-old Illinois boy whose body was found Wednesday morning in the woods, was forced into a cold shower “for an extended period of time” before he was beaten “repeatedly” to death by his parents on April 15, prosecutors allege. He died as a result of “craniocerebral trauma” caused by “multiple blunt force injuries,” the McHenry County Coroner's office announced Thursday. Nine days after his murder, the missing toddler’s body was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave about seven miles away from his Crystal Lake home. The toddler’s parents, 36-year-old JoAnn Cunningham, who is currently pregnant, and 60-year-old Andrew Freund Sr., were arrested and charged hours after the Wednesday discovery with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, domestic battery, and failure to report a missing child or child death. Freund Sr. was also charged with concealment of a death.“It was apparent to me that nobody was going to sleep and nobody will sleep until justice is brought for AJ. This is the beginning of that process,” said FBI Agent Jeffrey Sallet at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.The couple appeared at McHenry County Circuit Court on Thursday morning, wearing orange prison jumpsuits as Judge Robert A. Wilbrandt set their bond at $ 5 million each. Both were represented by public defenders, who did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.Prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that three days before the 5-year-old’s parents reported him missing, he was forced into the shower and then “struck” to death.Local, state, and federal authorities launched a multi-county search for the little boy, finally finding his body after the couple was confronted with cell-phone evidence, Crystal Lake Police Chief Jim Black told The Daily Beast on Thursday. Search crews recovered the toddler’s body in the woods and technicians immediately removed evidence from the family’s home, including a child’s mattress and a shovel. “To A.J.’s family, it is my hope that you may have some solace knowing that A.J. is no longer suffering, and his killers have been brought to justice,” Black said Wednesday. “To A.J., we know you’re at peace playing in heaven’s playground, and are happy you no longer have to suffer.”According to Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) records, A.J. was born in 2013 with “opiates in his system,” and was removed from his parents’ custody a month later. He was placed in foster care, records show, for two years before he was returned to Cunningham and Freund Sr. in June 2015. Twice last year, DCFS caseworkers were called to the Freund home to investigate separate allegations of neglect, but both were “determined to be unfounded,” a spokesperson said Thursday. In December, when police called the agency after Cunningham was arrested on a misdemeanor traffic charge, authorities documented “significant problems” with the couple’s “cluttered” and “dirty” home, including an “overwhelming” “smell of feces” in the toddlers’ bedroom, documents show. Crystal Lake Police also confirmed officers visited the home, which is an hour outside of Chicago, about 10 times over the past five years, and often noted the poor condition of the house in their reports. “This news is heartbreaking. Protecting vulnerable children who come to our attention is at the core of our mission at DCFS. All of us feel this loss,” Marc Smith, acting director of DCFS, said in a statement obtained by The Daily Beast. “Our priority is the care and safety of Andrew’s younger sibling.”A DCFS spokesman confirmed Thursday that the couple’s younger son, 3-year-old Parker, has been placed in protective custody.Cunningham and Freund are scheduled to appear in court on April 29. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here



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Parents of 5-year-old boy found in shallow grave allegedly beat him after long, cold shower

Parents of 5-year-old boy found in shallow grave allegedly beat him after long, cold showerThe body of AJ Freund, who was reported missing last week, was found covered in plastic and buried in the grave in Woodstock, Illinois, police said



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5-year-old Delaware boy left on freezing school bus for several hours after multiple safeguards fail

5-year-old Delaware boy left on freezing school bus for several hours after multiple safeguards failThe 5-year-old boy's mom put him on the bus to Linden Hill Elementary at 8:30 a.m. At 3:10 p.m., she got a frightening call from the school district.



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Colorado mom scares off bear attacking 5-year-old daughter

Colorado mom scares off bear attacking 5-year-old daughterDENVER (AP) — A 5-year-old Colorado girl attacked by a black bear outside her home over the weekend was expected to recover thanks to the quick thinking of her mother, who scared the animal away, officials said Monday.



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Undocumented Father of Cancer-Stricken 5-Year-Old Allowed To Stay In U.S.

Undocumented Father of Cancer-Stricken 5-Year-Old Allowed To Stay In U.S.Jesus Berrones, 30, had taken refuge inside a Phoenix church.



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ICE Set To Deport Undocumented Father Whose 5-Year-Old Son Is Battling Cancer

ICE Set To Deport Undocumented Father Whose 5-Year-Old Son Is Battling CancerImmigration and Customs Enforcement plans to deport an undocumented man from Mexico whose child is battling cancer.



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Tom Brady Has This Wish For Radio Host Who Insulted His 5-Year-Old Daughter

Tom Brady Has This Wish For Radio Host Who Insulted His 5-Year-Old DaughterNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Monday night that he doesn’t want radio station WEEI to sack the host who called his 5-year-old daughter Vivian “an annoying little pissant.”



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Video Shows Trump Supporters Saying 5-Year-Old Girl 'Looks Like' A Terrorist

Video Shows Trump Supporters Saying 5-Year-Old Girl 'Looks Like' A TerroristIn a video that went viral on Twitter, people wearing American flag-themed clothing, including one wearing a shirt supporting President Donald Trump, can be seen laughing at a Palestinian-American family who attended a pro-Palestine rally in Los Angeles on Sunday.



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A Pastor's Daughter, A 5-Year-Old Boy. These Are The Victims Of The Texas Shooting

A Pastor's Daughter, A 5-Year-Old Boy. These Are The Victims Of The Texas ShootingAt least 26 people were killed and more than 20 injured at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday when a gunman opened fire on the congregation.



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Delaware Woman Worried About Deportation Allegedly Drowns Infant Son and His 5-Year-Old Brother: Police

Delaware Woman Worried About Deportation Allegedly Drowns Infant Son and His 5-Year-Old Brother: PoliceA Delaware woman worried about being deported — even though she was in the country legally — was charged with murder earlier this week after allegedly drowning her 5-month-old son and his 5-year-old half-brother, police say



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