JoAnn Cunningham Bio, Wiki
JoAnn Cunningham is the mother of slain five-year-old AJ Freund has pleaded guilty to murder for beating him to death in April.
— SanAntonio News (@SanAntonio_NC) December 5, 2019
She is 36 years old.
JoAnn Cunningham Beat to Death her Child AJ Freund
Tell Ivy League students this is why we need prisons:#BREAKING Mom, 36, of 5 yr-old, pled guilty to murder in beating death of son.
Boy’s body was found in shallow grave.
She faces 20-60 yrs.#Child #Abuse #crimes #ThursdayThoughts https://t.co/X4kW8F5iYY
— Beverly A. Pekala (@PekalaLaw) December 5, 2019
Prosecutors said AJ was beaten to death at the family’s home in Crystal Lake on April 15, three days before his parents told police he’d disappeared from his bed in the middle of the night.
A desperate weeklong search for the boy came to a tragic end when his body was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave in Woodstock.
Authorities say the boy’s death occurred in his own home a few days before Andrew Freund made a 911 call reporting him missing. Crystal Lake residents, the FBI, and police from several agencies across the state scoured the community for about a week. The child’s body was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave about 7 miles from his home.
How did JoAnn Cunningham get here? Read our in-depth series on Cunningham, Andrew Freund and AJ Freund: No Home for a Child. Part 1 tells their story before he was born. https://t.co/qmfkkOLrXd
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) December 5, 2019
An autopsy determined his cause of death was head trauma from multiple blunt-force injuries. He had other visible marks and bruises on his body as well, records show.
JoAnn Cunningham Children
After Cunningham and Freund’s arrests, AJ’s younger brother was brought under the care of a state welfare agency. Cunningham gave birth to a girl while in police custody, and that baby is also under the state’s care.
Cunningham and AJ’s father, Andrew Freund were charged with first-degree murder and other crimes back in April.
She faces 20 to 60 years in prison after making a deal with prosecutors to have additional assault charges dismissed.
AJ Freund’s mother pleads guilty to murder in the five-year-old’s beating death
JoAnn Cunningham, 36, https://t.co/GnQnRFQgbC
— InterNewsCast (@internewscast) December 5, 2019
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- JoAnn Cunningham pleaded guilty to the McHenry County court on Thursday
- 36-year-old Cunningham and AJ’s father Andrew Freund were charged in April for murder and other first-degree crimes.
- The prosecution said AJ was beaten to death at Crystal Lake’s family home on April 15, three days before his parents told the police he had disappeared from his bed.
- A one-week search for the boy ended tragically when his body was wrapped in plastic and found buried in a shallow grave in Woodstock.
- An autopsy revealed that AJ died of a blunt head trauma
- Cunningham’s confession comes about two months after the mother, in tears, denied hurting her son and instead pointed her finger at her father.
- I’d rather kill myself than hurt my family. I’d rather kill myself than hurt someone, “Cunningham said in a tearful interview in a September prison interview.