Mother of missing Crystal Lake boy ‘uncooperative,’ police say; expected in court Tuesday

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CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — The mother of a missing Crystal Lake 5-year-old is expected in court Tuesday morning for a custody hearing regarding her younger son as well as a traffic violation.

Crystal Lake police Monday said there were no updates, arrests or new developments in the case of Andrew "AJ" Freund, a 5-year-old reported missing last week.

Deputy Chief Tom Kotlowski said the boy's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, "continues to be uncooperative with police." Last week, she hired a defense attorney because she felt police considered her a suspect.

Andrew was reported missing Thursday. His parents told police they last saw him at bedtime Wednesday, around 9 p.m. After an exhaustive search, police Friday said there was “no indication” Andrew had been abducted. Police said they were focusing their investigation on the boy's home and "the individuals that may have seen or had contact with AJ last."

Less than two miles from the home of the missing boy, Crystal Lake police and McHenry County search and rescue teams converged on Lippold Park late Monday towing ATVs.

The 310-acre park district property has baseball and soccer fields, but also wooded, marshy areas and hiking trails. Detectives said their primary focus of the investigation is on the missing boy's home, but that they are still actively pursuing tips and leads into Andrew’s disappearance.

DCFS said the agency has had extensive contact with Andrew's family since he was born in 2013 with opiates in his system.

Police said his father, also named Andrew Freund, spoke with detectives Saturday.

Kotlowski said his department, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are actively investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 815-356-3620 or text an anonymous tip to 847411 along with the letters "CLPDTIP."

Cunningham is staying at an undisclosed location, according to her attorney. She and Freund are no longer in contact with one another, the attorney said, although they did meet during a vigil Saturday night.

The parents were living together — but not in a romantic relationship — at the time of Andrew's disappearance. Freund was Cunningham's divorce attorney in 2002.

The couple has a younger son, who was taken into protective custody by the state last week. Cunningham, who is seven months pregnant, said she plans to fight the situation at a hearing Tuesday.

Freund on Saturday told WGN the days following Andrew's disappearance were “hell on earth.” He said: "Anybody that’s out there that’s inclined to pray, please pray for the return of my son safely."

Detectives have searched nearly 1,000 acres of land so far and scanned the waters of Crystal Lake. Police previously said canine units could only detect Andrew’s scent inside his home — meaning the boy had not left on foot.

DCFS confirmed Friday that the agency is very familiar with Andrew’s family after investigating allegations of abuse and neglect. Andrew was at one point placed in foster care for two years before returning home — only for more allegations of abuse to surface last year.

The home the family lived, owned by the boy's father, was foreclosed on and sold at auction in February. Neighbors said the family was supposed to be out of the home by April 4.

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