Authorities in Illinois continue to search for a 5-year-old boy who went missing from his home on April 19. Police in the bedroom community of Crystal Lake don't believe Andrew "AJ" Freund ever left his home.
On Tuesday, police released a 911 call from AJ's father, also named Andrew Freund, who claimed he last saw AJ on Wednesday at bedtime.
Freund reported his son missing on Thursday morning. In the 9:04 a.m. call, Freund spoke very calmly, saying he returned home from a doctor's appointment around 8:15 a.m. and found his son missing.
Before calling 911, Freund claimed he canvassed the neighborhood looking for the 5-year-old.
He went to a gas station "where they got treats" and to a nearby school where he talked to the principal. He told the 911 dispatcher he returned to his home and "searched everywhere" in the house.
In a news release on Thursday, police said they set up "grid searches" and continued to conduct searches of areas of interest, including several ponds and smaller bodies of water. They planned to search by land and air.
But unexpected evidence led them back to the house on Dole Avenue.
"Information obtained currently has police focusing on the residence," said investigators in a news release on Thursday. Police dogs searching for AJ didn't pick up his scent outside the house. Per the news release, canine teams "only picked up Andrew's scent within the residence indicating that Andrew had not walked away on foot."
By Thursday, police said AJ's parents had stopped cooperating with investigators. Police and the FBI confirmed that AJ's mother, Crystal, is not cooperation with police at all. Her lawyer told her to stop talking when police started treating her like a suspect.
AJ's dad last spoke with investigators on Saturday - the day after teams of police raided the house with search warrants in hand.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Child Protective Services (DCFS) has a long history with the family.
DCFS says it had contact with the family "on and off" since 2018, after little AJ was born in 2013 with opiates in his system.
A younger son was placed in DCFS custody and has not been reunited with his parents.
There is rampant speculation on social media that AJ met with foul play inside his home.
Some users touched on a sad commentary in today's society where people deliberately injure or murder their own children in hopes of reaping a financial windfall from crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.