An Illinois woman accused of killing her 5-year-old son A.J. Freund, gave birth to her fourth child, a girl, while behind bars at the McHenry County jail.
Chicago Tribune reports that during a hearing on Monday at the McHenry County juvenile court, 38-year-old JoAnn Cunningham agreed to allow the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to take custody of the baby girl, who was born May 31.
Also during the hearing, Judge Christopher Harmon ordered that A.J.’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., and another man undergo paternity testing in connection with the infant girl, sources told the outlet. The results of the paternity test are expected to be read in court on July 8.
Cunningham, Freund Sr. and the other possible father, Daniel Nowicki, were all present in court on Monday, according to Northwest Herald. Nowicki, who was in jail on an aggravated battery charge when A.J. died, told the outlet he felt he was the father of the little girl. He had been engaged and in a relationship with the married Cunningham around the time the baby was conceived.
“I believe I am [the father],” Nowicki said after Monday’s court hearing.
Another court hearing, scheduled for June 24, will determine whether Freund Sr. is the father of Cunningham’s third child, a 4-year-old boy.
Cunningham also has an adult son from a previous relationship.
— Jon Styf (@JonStyf) June 10, 2019
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Freund Sr. and Cunningham are accused of killing A.J. on April 15, after forcing him to stay in a cold shower for “an extended period of time” and beating him to death.
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, two counts of concealment of homicidal death and one count of failure to report a missing or child death.
Investigators found A.J.’s lifeless body on rural land close to Gayle Drive and Dean Street in Woodstock, Illinois. The little boy was found wrapped in plastic and placed in a shallow grave.
The discovery came on April 25, exactly one week after Freund Sr. reported his son missing on April 18. 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.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: A.J. Freund/Handout]