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Police release 911 call when dad reported 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy missing

Crystal Lake police have released the 911 call from April 18 of the father of Andrew Freund Jr. reporting that his son was missing.

In the past 24 hours, police have conducted grid searches in ‘areas of interest’ including Lippold Park on Route 176. The McHenry County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Crystal Lake Park District Police are assisting.

The search at Lippold Park ended early Monday due to inclement weather but it is expected to continue today. The Illinois State Police will be piloting a plane over the area to help guide those searching on the ground, police said.

Searches of several ponds and bodies of water by fire department crews are expected Tuesday as well, police confirmed.

5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund Jr. was last seen April 17 at 9 p.m. at his home in the 0-100 block of Dole Avenue Wednesday at 9 p.m. when his parents put him to bed. They called police Thursday morning after reportedly waking up and not being able to find the boy in the home.

On Monday, Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Thomas Kotlowski said that the investigation continues and there are no major developments to share. Kotlowski did confirm that JoAnn Cunningham, the boy’s mother, continues to be uncooperative with police.

Cunningham’s lawyer said that when police considered her to be a suspect he advised her to no longer talk.

A missing child flyer is attached to a utility pole in Crystal Lake | Photo by Alex Vucha.

Andrew Freund Sr., the boy’s father, spoke with detectives Saturday afternoon for several hours, Kotlowski said.

“Investigators are continuing to review evidence, leads, and tips as they become available. There has been no arrest in this case at this time,” Kotlowski said.

On Friday, Crystal Lake police said that there is no indication that the boy was abducted. Kotlowski said that police continue to focus their investigation on the boy’s home and the individuals that may have seen or had contact with Andrew last.

Several search and rescue canine units, trained specifically to locate people, have been used in the search. Kotlowski said on Friday that the canine teams only picked up Andrew’s scent within the residence, indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot.

A report by CBS News said that the dogs also picked up the boy’s scent in the trunk of his parents’ car.

Andrew was last seen at 9 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 0-100 block of Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake | Recent photo provided by the Crystal Lake Police Department.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, specializing in missing children cases, and the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children have been assisting police with the investigation.

The Crystal Lake Police Department also called in 15 police agencies, along with 4 drones, to assist with a coordinated search of the area, Kotlowski said.

“Approximately 373 acres were covered during a foot search and approximately 497 acres were covered via aerial search by drones,” he added.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, boat and sonar technicians from fire departments in Lake and McHenry counties were called to help search Crystal Lake, police said. The sonar teams concluded their search at 10 p.m. without locating anything in the water.

FBI and police investigate after a 5-year-old boy went missing from his Crystal Lake home | Photo by Alex Vucha.

“The police department would like to thank the public for their continued offers of assistance and support.” Kotlowski said, adding that the public can assist police by searching their own property and reporting anything suspicious to authorities.

“AJ, please come home. We love you very much,” Andrew Freund Sr. said to the media Friday afternoon. “You’re not in any trouble. We’re just worried to death. Please, please come home,” the boy’s father added.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said on Friday that they had taken the younger brother of Andrew into protective custody. DCFS also confirmed that they have investigated reports of abuse and neglect in the home since Andrew’s birth in 2013 until December 2018.

Detectives are asking for surveillance video from residents in the area from April 15 at 7 a.m. to April 18 at 9 a.m. The video or images can be forward to jmattson@crystallake.org, police said.

Andrew is 3-foot-5, 70 pounds and has short blonde hair. He was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620. Anonymous tips can also be sent to the Crystal Lake Police Department by texting the word CLPDTIP along with the tip information to 847411 (tip411).


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