Coroner: Illinois boy AJ Freund beaten to death; parents held on $5M bond each
WGN / McHenry County
Bond was set at $5 million each for the parents of AJ Freund Thursday morning. Andrew Freund Sr., 60, and Joann Cunningham, 36, appeared in McHenry County Court Thursday morning.

UPDATE 4:12 p.m. CT:

WGN reports the McHenry County Coroner released the cause of death for 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Officials said the body found Wednesday was positively identified as AJ. The autopsy conducted Thursday found that the cause of death was craniocerebral trauma as a consequence of multiple blunt force injuries.


By Nancy Loo, WGN

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (WGN) -- 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.

MORE: $5 million bond set for each parent in murder of Crystal Lake boy - WGN

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