Andrew Freund's parents plead not guilty to murdering their son

The 5-year-old's body was found buried in a shallow grave near his home on April 24.
Image: Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham were arrested on April 24, 2019.
Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham were arrested on April 24.Crystal Lake Police

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By Minyvonne Burke

The parents of Andrew Freund, the 5-year-old boy found dead in a shallow grave near his suburban Chicago home about a week after his parents reported him missing, pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple charges, including murder.

JoAnn Cunningham, 36, and Andrew Freund Sr., 60, entered their pleas in a McHenry County court one day after a grand jury indicted them on 20 charges each, including three counts of murder and one count of concealing a death for the April 15 murder of their son.

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During the hearing, Freund and Cunningham requested a jury trial and a judge granted a motion seeking a psychological evaluation, NBC Chicago reports.

Andrew Freund, Jr., 5, went missing from his home in Crystal Lake, Illinois.Crystal Lake Police Department

The couple was arrested on April 24, the same day officers found Andrew's body wrapped in plastic buried in a grave in Woodstock, Illinois, about a 20-minute drive from the family's home in Crystal Lake. An autopsy found Andrew died from multiple blunt force injuries to his head.

According to an affidavit, Andrew died after Cunningham and Freund beat him and forced him to stand in a cold shower as punishment for urinating in his underwear.

Court documents show that Cunningham and Freund were also indicted Thursday on additional counts of battery stemming from an unspecified March 4 incident, as well as several counts of reckless conduct, unlawful restraint and child endangerment stemming from a September 2018 incident.

Freund, who called police on April 18 to report that his son was missing, was also indicted for making a false complaint to 911. Freund eventually led police to Andrew's body after investigators discovered cellphone video showing the child lying naked on a mattress covered in bruises and bandages, according to court records.

Cunningham and Freund are being held in the McHenry County Jail on $5 million bond each.