The former husband of an Illinois woman accused of killing her 5-year-old says drug use turned a once nice person into a monster.
“Our marriage started off well and it was like a switch flipped in her head,” Craig Summerkamp told Mail Online. “She was a decent person. But then she got hooked on pills and it all went downhill superfast.”
Summerkamp said he married Cunningham in 2009 but divorced her in 2012. Andrew Freund Sr., the 60-year-old father of murdered boy A.J. Freund, was Cunningham’s divorce lawyer.
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“She was out in the hallway moping and crying, and he […] went over and started talking to her. The next thing I knew he was her lawyer and it developed into whatever relationship they had,” Summerkamp added.
Prior to the dissolution of their marriage, Summerkamp said Cunningham at some point started complaining about body pains. After her doctor began prescribing her pain medication, she reportedly changed.
Summerkamp said there was a time when Cunningham was an attractive, good-hearted person, but the marriage starting deteriorating after prescription pills turned her into a monster.
“She was beautiful— but then the drugs took hold. She had the cops called on me for supposedly beating on her and at that point I was like ‘I’m outta here.”
After their divorce, Summerkamp allowed the woman to stay in his home with her oldest son, who she gave birth to at age 17, as well as a son they were fostering. He explained that the children didn’t have to change schools if Cunningham stayed at the residence. He said he even allowed Freund Sr. to stay in the home but the pair destroyed it, leaving behind holes in the walls, broken appliances, and “maggots and fleas and all sorts of bugs.”
“One of the things in our agreement was she had to keep the house in good order but she destroyed it, ” Summerkamp said.
Shortly after, Freund Sr. and Cunningham were arrested for contempt of court after reportedly taking items out of the home, including televisions, silverware, and a Blu-ray player. Freund Sr. made bail and while Cunningham was still behind bars, Summerkamp said he packed up her things and took them over to Freund Sr.’s home.
Summerkamp claimed when he saw the man, Freund Sr. was prancing around in an army uniform.
“I knew he had never been in the army but he was in dress uniform with medals and badges and everything. I can’t remember whether it was a major or a lieutenant colonel’s but it was a high-ranking officer.”
Meanwhile, Summerkamp said the latest news of Cunningham’s arrest on murder charges didn’t surprise him.
“I could just see the downward spiral.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 5-year-old A.J. was found dead and buried in a shallow grave on April 24. He died from numerous blunt force injuries to his head, according to the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.
McHenry County Interim Coroner David Devane, who released the boy’s official cause of death results on Thursday afternoon, noted that A.J. had “craniocerebral trauma as a consequence of multiple blunt force injuries.” According to Mayo Clinic, craniocerebral trauma means a traumatic brain injury, typically caused by violent blows to the head.
According to FOX 32, documents filed on April 25 at the McHenry County Circuit Court indicate that on April 15, Freund Sr. and Cunningham forced their son “to remain in a cold shower for an extended period of time and/or struck A.F. on or about his body, knowing such acts would cause the death of A.F.”
Cunningham has been charged with five counts of murder, four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing or child death.
Freund Sr. has been charged with five counts of murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated domestic battery and one count of failure to report a missing or child death. He’s also charged with two counts of concealment of homicidal death, as authorities said he was the one that buried the boy in a neighboring town.
The discovery came exactly one week after Freund Sr. reported his son missing. The man called 911 and told the dispatcher that he couldn’t find A.J., and explained the last time he saw him was the previous night, in their home off of Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake.
Freund Sr. also told the dispatcher he had an early doctor’s appointment on the morning of April 18, but when he returned home between 8:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., his son was missing. The man said he thoroughly checked the home and the surrounding areas and couldn’t find A.J.
“I have no idea where he could be,” Freund said.
Authorities said from the beginning of the investigation that they didn’t believe the child was abducted, as a canine unit couldn’t place the child’s scent past the family’s home.
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[Feature Photo: A.J. Freund/Handout]