AJ was only 5-years-old when he was found dead in a shallow grave, the 24th of April, 2019. Though he was reported missing on April 18, it appears he died on April 15.
His parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. were charged with his death and disappearance. Each has been indicted on multiple counts, including murder, aggravated battery, and concealing a homicide, by a grand jury in McHenry County.
According to court documents, both JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. forced AJ into a cold shower "for an extended period of time", and the 5-year-old was repeatedly struck, leading to his death. Freund Sr. found AJ later that day, dead in his bed, at which point he buried him in a shallow grave. They then falsely reported their young son as being missing.
“We have a missing child,” Freund told the 911 dispatcher early April 18, 2019, speaking in a calm voice.
In December 2019, Cunningham pleaded guilty to the murder of her son AJ. She’s now serving a 35-year prison sentence. Freund Sr. is awaiting trial.
On September 10, 2020, two men, formerly employed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in connection with the AJ Freund investigation.
Carlos Acosta and Andrew Polovin were charged with reckless conduct and endangering the life of a child. According to court documents, Polovin assigned Acosta to AJ’s case. Acosta was in contact with the boy for several months before his parents beat him to death. Both were placed on desk duty by the DCFS after AJ went missing and were fired in December 2019.
Northwest Herald , who has been following the case closely reports that "official charging documents filed with the McHenry County Circuit Clerk's Office Friday morning allege that Polovin and Acosta “knowingly caused or permitted (AJ)…to be placed in circumstances that endangered AJ’s life or health…” They're also accused of recklessly performing an act that "caused great bodily harm or permanent disability" to a child, according to the grand jury indictment."
Acosta and Polovin were ordered held on $20,000 bonds each. Acosta posted $2,000 bail around 9:40 p.m. Thursday and Polovin posted $2,000 bail around 11:55 p.m. Thursday.