A.J. Freund case: Police report reveals harrowing details of boy's short life

After the body of 5-year-old Andrew "A.J." Freund was discovered in an Illinois field, tragic details of his short life are coming to light.

The boy's remains were found wrapped in plastic and dumped in a shallow grave in Woodstock on Wednesday, Crystal Lake Police Chief Jim Black said during a press conference.

Both of A.J.'s parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund, are being charged with five counts of first-degree murder, as well as battery and failure to report a missing child, in their son's disappearance and death.

A recently released 60-page police report has revealed the poor living conditions and alleged abuse A.J. was subjected to before he died.

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Missing Illinois boy A.J. Freund found dead, parents charged
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Missing Illinois boy A.J. Freund found dead, parents charged
This combination April 24, 2019 booking photos provided by the Crystal Lake, Ill., Police Department shows JoAnn Cunningham and her husband, Andrew Freund Sr. On Wednesday, authorities dug up the body of a 5-year-old boy, believed to be Andrew "AJ" Freund, who was reported missing the previous week and charged his parents with murder and other counts. (Crystal Lake Police Department via AP)
McHenry County Sheriff's officers and other law enforcement search the area of Route 176 and Dean Street south of Woodstock, Ill., for clues in the disappearance of 5-year-old missing boy Andrew "AJ" Freund, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Brian Hill/Daily Herald via AP)
McHenry County Sheriff's officers and other law enforcement search the area of Route 176 and Dean Street with a drone south of Woodstock, Ill., for clues in the disappearance of 5-year-old missing boy Andrew "AJ" Freund, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Brian Hill/Daily Herald via AP)
McHenry County Sheriff's officers and other law enforcement search the area of Route 176 and Dean Street south of Woodstock, Ill.,, for clues in the disappearance of 5-year-old missing boy Andrew "AJ" Freund, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Brian Hill/Daily Herald via AP)
McHenry County Sheriff's officer search the area of Route 176 and Dean Street south of Woodstock, Ill., for clues in the disappearance of 5-year-old missing boy Andrew "AJ" Freund, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Brian Hill/Daily Herald via AP)
Crystal Lake, Ill., Police Chief James Black, left, and FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet announce during a press conference Wednesday that the parents of Andrew "AJ" Freund are responsible for his death, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet speaks during a Crystal Lake, Ill. press conference Wednesday, April 24, 2019 about the parents of Andrew "AJ" Freund being charged for his death. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
In this April 24, 2019 booking photo provided by the Crystal Lake Police Department of Joann Cunningham who along with her husband Andrew Freund Sr. have been charged with murder and other charges in the death of their missing son Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of the 5-year-old boy who went missing last week. Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Freund's body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic. (Crystal Lake Police Department via AP)
In this April 24, 2019 is a booking photo provided by the Crystal Lake Police Department of Andrew Freund Sr, who along with his wife Joann Cunningham, have been charged with murder and other charges in the death of their missing son Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of the 5-year-old boy who went missing last week. Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Freund's body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic. (Crystal Lake Police Department via AP)
Long time Crystal Lake resident Danielle Hein, left, wipes away tears after sitting in a press conference at the Crystal Lake village hall where officials announced charges against the parents of Andrew "AJ" Freund for his death, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
Police search outside the home of missing 5-year-old boy Andrew "AJ" Freund on the 0-100 block of Dole Ave. in Crystal Lake, Ill. on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
Police remove items from the home of missing 5-year-old boy Andrew "AJ" Freund on the 0-100 block of Dole Ave. in Crystal Lake, Ill. on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
Andrew Freund Sr., the father of the missing 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund, walks near his home on Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake, Ill. on Friday, April 19, 2019 as members of the media try to speak with him. Police are investigating the boy's disappearance and are focusing their attention on the boy's home. (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)
A makeshift memorial grows Monday, April 22, 2019 outside the Dole Avenue home of Andrew "AJ" Freund, age 5, in Crystal Lake, Ill. Police and the FBI continue their investigation into the missing boy. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 photo, community members in Crystal lake, Ill., hold a vigil in memory of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities searching for the missing Illinois boy who had lived in deplorable conditions dug up his body Wednesday and charged his parents with murder, sadly declaring that the youngster would "no longer have to suffer." (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)
In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 photo, community members in Crystal lake, Ill., hold a vigil in memory of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities searching for the missing Illinois boy who had lived in deplorable conditions dug up his body Wednesday and charged his parents with murder, sadly declaring that the youngster would "no longer have to suffer." (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)
Mourners view a growing memorial outside the home of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Crystal Lake, Ill. Andrew's body was found in a wooded area Wednesday morning, and the boy's parents have been charged with his murder. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS - APRIL 24: Angela Krambeer and her son Dylan sign a cross at a memorial outside the home of five-year-old Andrew "A.J." Freund on April 24, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The remains of Freund, who was reported missing by his parents last week, were found in a shallow grave earlier today near Woodstock, Illinois. His parents Andrew Freund Sr. and Joanna Cunningham have been charged with his murder. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS - APRIL 24: Family, friends, neighbors, and other mourners gather for a vigil outside the home of five-year-old Andrew "A.J." Freund on April 24, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The remains of Freund, who was reported missing by his parents last week, were found in a shallow grave earlier today near Woodstock, Illinois. His parents Andrew Freund Sr. and Joanna Cunningham have been charged with his murder. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS - APRIL 24: Family, friends, neighbors, and other mourners gather for a vigil outside the home of five-year-old Andrew "A.J." Freund on April 24, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The remains of Freund, who was reported missing by his parents last week, were found in a shallow grave earlier today near Woodstock, Illinois. His parents Andrew Freund Sr. and Joanna Cunningham have been charged with his murder. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS - APRIL 24: Family, friends, neighbors, and other mourners gather for a vigil outside the home of five-year-old Andrew "A.J." Freund on April 24, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The remains of Freund, who was reported missing by his parents last week, were found in a shallow grave earlier today near Woodstock, Illinois. His parents Andrew Freund Sr. and Joanna Cunningham have been charged with his murder. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police have a vehicle towed from the driveway of missing 5-year-old boy Andrew "AJ" Freund on the 0-100 block of Dole Ave. in Crystal Lake, Ill. on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Police continue to investigate the disappearance of the child. (Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP)
Mourners gather outside the home of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Crystal Lake, Ill. Andrew's body was found in a wooded area Wednesday morning, and the boy's parents have been charged with his murder. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 photo, community members in Crystal lake, Ill. hold a vigil in memory of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities searching for the missing Illinois boy who had lived in deplorable conditions dug up his body Wednesday and charged his parents with murder, sadly declaring that the youngster would "no longer have to suffer." (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)
In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 photo, community members in Crystal lake, Ill. hold a vigil in memory of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities searching for the missing Illinois boy who had lived in deplorable conditions dug up his body Wednesday and charged his parents with murder, sadly declaring that the youngster would "no longer have to suffer." (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)
In this Wednesday, April 24, 2019 photo, community members in Crystal lake, Ill. hold a vigil in memory of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Authorities searching for the missing Illinois boy who had lived in deplorable conditions dug up his body Wednesday and charged his parents with murder, sadly declaring that the youngster would "no longer have to suffer." (John Starks/Daily Herald via AP)
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A.J. was taken into protective custody in 2013 by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), less than a month after he was born with opioids in his system. He spent the first several months of his life a foster home before he was returned to his mother.

In 2014, an unidentified woman called police on the boy's parents after finding a syringe on their kitchen floor, claiming they were using heroin. In 2015, A.J.’s father was disciplined and had his law license suspended for violating court orders dealing with his divorce and drug use, WGN reports. 

DCFS was also called to the family's home twice in 2018 — on allegations of neglect in March and of abuse and neglect in December — although both sets of accusations were determined to be unfounded.

A.J. was first reported missing by his parents on the morning of April 18 from their home in Crystal Lake, approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago. His parents claimed they had last seen their son around 9 p.m. the night before.

Responding officers reported that the residence, which is said to be in foreclosure, was "cluttered, dirty and in disrepair," with broken windows, dog feces and urine observed throughout the home.

In December 2018, police responding to a reported burglary at the home observed similarly deplorable conditions, noting that the smell of feces in A.J.'s room was "overwhelming."

A neighbor had also called police in September 2018 to express concern about the home, claiming the dilapidated house had no power. 

The Crystal Lake Police Department thanked the community for their "support and assistance" following a week-long search for the victim.

"To AJ’s family, it is our hope that you may have some solace in knowing that AJ is no longer suffering and his killers have been brought to justice," it wrote. "To AJ, we know you are at peace playing in heaven’s playground and are happy you no longer have to suffer."

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