The FBI and local detectives are frantically searching for a suburban Chicago 5-year-old boy who was last seen Wednesday when his parents put him to bed.
The parents of A.J. Freund, a blond-haired, 70-pound boy, reported him missing the next day when they woke up and couldn’t find him, but police in Crystal Lake don’t believe he was kidnapped by an intruder or anyone else.
“In reviewing all investigative information thus far, there is no indication that would lead police to believe that an abduction had taken place,” Deputy Police Chief Tom Kotlowski said Friday.
A search by police bloodhounds has also led detectives to believe the boy didn’t wander away from the house, he said.
After being questioned by police, A.J.’s mom Joann Cunningham clammed up on the advice of an attorney, Fox 32 Chicago reported.
“Ms. Cunningham cooperated with police extensively yesterday until at some point we got the impression that she may be considered a suspect,” lawyer George Killis said Friday outside the home, according to the station.
Killis spoke after Andrew Freund emerged from the house and made a public appeal for his son to return home, the station reported.
“A.J. please come home,” he said. “We love you very much. You’re not in any trouble. We’re just worried to death.”
Kotlowski said the search for A.J. has covered a very wide area. The massive search has included police dogs, drones and a sonar team that searched a lake.
A.J. was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants, police said.
Police were seen entering the boy's home Friday, possibly armed with a search warrant, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Child welfare workers placed A.J. in a foster home for nearly two years after he was born in 2013 with opiates in his body, the paper reported.
The placement came after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services substantiated an allegation of neglect against Cunningham, according to the paper.
Agency officials said Friday that the agency’s off-and-on contact with family lasted until late 2018.
They said A.J. has a younger brother who has been placed with a foster family.