As 5-year-old Illinois boy Andrew “A.J” Freund remains missing, police obtained a search warrant and raided the family’s Crystal Lake home on Friday, where the child was last seen two days ago.
Chicago Tribune reports that around seven vehicles pulled up to the home off of Dole Lane in Crystal Lake on Friday afternoon. As a team of police went into the house, one of the officers indicated they had a search warrant for the home, according to the outlet, and identified himself as being with the Crystal Lake police.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services released its history of reports regarding the boy, which stated the agency has known about the family for years.
A.J. was born in 2013 with opioids in his system according to DCF documents, which also indicated reports of the boy’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, neglecting him. The agency said they’ve been in contact on and off with the family since A.J.’s birth, until 2018.
Shortly after his birth, the agency took A.J. into protective custody. He didn’t return to his family until 2015. In March 2018, DCF followed up on complaints about the boy’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., neglecting him. The accusations were unfounded.
In December 2018, A.J. was removed from the home after reports of his mother neglecting and abusing him. The boy was returned to the home shortly after when the accusations again were unfounded.
The FBI is now assisting in the case of #missing 5 year old #AndrewFreund from #CrystalLake #IL. https://t.co/42Vg1QfZuD @LeighEgan @LordanArts @CrimeWatchDaily @thevanishedpod @TraceEvPod pic.twitter.com/Jf3iKxluT4
— Missing Pieces Network (@Network4Missing) April 19, 2019
“The department’s involvement with Andrew Freund began with his birth in 2013 and continued on and off through the end of 2018. The last contact between DCFS child protection staff and Andrew’s family was in December of 2018 while investigating allegations of abuse and neglect,” the agency stated.
The missing boy’s younger brother, 3, has been placed in state custody as the investigation continues.
Neighbors reported seeing police presence at the house on numerous occasions in the past, according to the outlet. They also said they’ve heard loud arguments coming from the home.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, A.J.’s parents told police they last saw their son when they put him to bed on April 17. They said when they woke up the following morning, he was gone. On Thursday evening, a sonar team scanned areas around the nearby Crystal Lake. Officials searched the entire shore and found nothing.
“No one has seen anything. This neighborhood is extremely safe,” neighbor Janelle Butler told Chicago Tribune.
Butler added that there are always neighbors out walking dogs and if they had seen a little boy wandering around, they would have likely called the police immediately. She added that A.J.’s parents keep to themselves.
“We don’t know if he wandered out. That was the first thought – did he wander out? But nobody’s seen him, so nobody has any clue whatsoever,” Butler said.
The search for A.J. continues, although police indicated Friday that a canine unit could not trace the boy’s scent past his home.
“During the last 24 hours, several police search and rescue canine units, trained specifically to locate people, were utilized in an attempt to locate Andrew. The canine teams only picked up Andrews ‘scent’ within the residence indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot.”
A.J is described as a white male who stands 3-feet-5-inches tall. He has blond hair and was last seen wearing a Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants.
Anyone with any information is urged to call the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620. Anonymous tips can be sent to the department by texting the word “CLPDTIP” with tip information to 847411 (tip411).
[Feature Photo: A.J. Freund/Police Handout]