911 Call From Family Of Missing Crystal Lake Boy Released: Police

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL — The Crystal Lake Police Department and their dispatch agency SEECOM (Southeast Emergency Communications) have released the 911 call made Thursday morning, April 18, by the father of missing 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund. Police said they’ve received several requests through the Freedom of Information Act for the 911 call, and released it Tuesday morning.

The nearly five-minute 911 call begins with Andrew Freund Sr. telling dispatchers, “We have a missing child.”

Freund told dispatchers his son was last seen around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when the boy went to bed. Freund said he woke up Thursday morning and his son wasn’t there, telling dispatchers the family canvassed the neighborhood, went to a local park, a gas station and spoke with the assistant principal at his school, but no one knows where he could be.

The man then told dispatchers he went to a doctor’s appointment Thursday morning and when he returned home, he checked in on his son around 8:15-8:30 a.m., but the boy wasn’t there. Police officers arrived at the house about 4 minutes after the call was made.

Listen to the entire 911 call:

The search for Freund continued Tuesday morning at Lippold Park, the police department said in a release. The police department said it continues conducting grid searches in areas of interest, after Monday’s search of Lippold Park ended early due to inclement weather. The McHenry County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the Crystal Lake Park District Police are assisting in Tuesday’s search efforts at Lippold Park, and the Illinois State Police will be piloting a plane over the area to help guide those searching on the ground, police said.

Police also said sonar teams are requested once again to scan several ponds and smaller bodies of water, and sonar technicians from fire departments within the mutual aid MABAS Divisions 4 and 5 are expected to assist.

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In addition, detectives with the Crystal Lake Police Department made requests for surveillance video from citizens, including video from home surveillance devices, police said. The request is for any video from 7 a.m. Monday, April 15, 2019 through 9 a.m. Thursday, April 18, 2019.

“Any member of the community who may have video that could help investigators are asked to please email those videos or images to jmattson@crystallake.org,” police said in a release.

As the search for the boy continued, his mother was in court Tuesday. According to WGN, 36-year-old JoAnn Cunningham, mother of missing Andrew “AJ” Freund, was expected in court for a traffic violation, in addition to facing a hearing related to her other son, who was taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Family Services last week after Andrew went missing, DCFS confirmed to Patch.

Crystal Lake police said Andrew was reported missing Thursday, and after an “exhaustive search,” police said there’s no indication the boy was abducted, according to WGN.

The DCFS also detailed a long history of interactions with the child’s family. DCFS’ contact with the family dates back to Oct. 16, 2013, when Andrew was born with opiates in his system. A month later, he was placed in foster care.

Cunningham is seven months pregnant with another child and her lawyer describes her as “fragile,” police reported.

“When it became clear law enforcement was not conducting a missing child investigation, was not issuing an Amber Alert, had stopped searching for AJ, and considered her a suspect, we did advise her to stop all communications with law enforcement, and she did so at our request…this is just us, as her attorneys, doing our job, not evidence of her wrongdoing, and is not itself suspicious in any way,” Cunningham’s lawyer said in a statement, according to WGN.

On Tuesday morning, authorities and volunteers resumed their search for Andrew at Crystal Lake, Fox 32 reported (see below).

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ABC 7 reported Thursday the area around the Crystal Lake home was considered a crime scene on Thursday. Kotlowski told Patch early Thursday evening he could not confirm that information.

“We are still searching for Andrew,” he wrote in an email response. “No one is in custody.”

On Friday night, several police search and rescue canine units, trained specifically to locate people, were used to try to locate Andrew, Kotlowski said. The canine teams only picked up Andrew’s scent within the residence, indicating the 5-year-old did not walk away on foot.
According to the news report, Freund’s parents — JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund — were living together, but not linked romantically, when he disappeared

Freund was Cunningham’s divorce attorney in 2002, WGN added. Freund was seen at the Crystal Lake Police Department on Saturday, when he reportedly spent five hours talking with detectives. However, both he and Cunningham have stopped cooperating with police, authorities said Saturday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are assisting local authorities in the ongoing investigation, police said.

Police encourage anyone with information related to this case to contact the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620. Anyone with a cell phone can send an anonymous tip to the Crystal Lake Police Department by texting the word CLPDTIP along with the tip information to 847411 (tip411). Normal text messaging rates do apply.

Patch will continue updating this breaking news story as more information becomes available. Sign up for Crystal Lake Patch breaking news alerts for updates sent to your email inbox and phone.

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