Police interview father of missing 5-year-old boy

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Father of missing Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund interviewed by police

Police interviewed the father of a missing Crystal Lake boy on Saturday.

Andrew "AJ" Freund, 5, was last seen on Wednesday night. His parents told police that he went to bed that night, and that they realized he was missing on Thursday morning. Police in the northwest Chicago suburb said they do not think he walked out of his home on his own.

On Saturday, the missing boy's father, went with police detectives to be interviewed. Upon returning, he told Fox 32 News that he doesn't know what happened to his son, and that the past few days have been "hell."

Both of AJ's parents were at a vigil for the missing boy on Saturday night. His mother, Joanne Cunningham, attended with her attorney.

Well-wishers were given the chance to write messages of hope for the boy's safe return.

"I believe in the power of prayer," said vigil organizer Amy Kneitz. "I’ve seen miracles happen."

State child welfare officials said they have had repeated contact with the boy's family since he was born addicted to drugs in 2013. He was put into a foster home right after birth and was not returned to his birth parents until June 2015. DCFS investigators returned twice in 2018 to check other allegations of neglect. Those allegations were deemed "unfounded."

Police dogs searching for Andrew’s scent have only detected it inside the home, “indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot,” police said.

Andrew is described as a 3-foot-5, 70-pound boy with short, blond hair, police said. He was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

He was also wearing green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shoes, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

His disappearance remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 815-356-3620 or text an anonymous tip to 847411 with “CLPDTIP” at the beginning of the message.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.