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Local News

Hundreds line up to attend AJ Freund visitation in Crystal Lake

A long line of people stretches down East Terra Cotta Ave as visitors await entry to Davenport Funeral Home to pay their respects to AJ Freund, 5, on Friday, May 3, 2019 in Crystal Lake.
A long line of people stretches down East Terra Cotta Ave as visitors await entry to Davenport Funeral Home to pay their respects to AJ Freund, 5, on Friday, May 3, 2019 in Crystal Lake.

Hundreds of people lined the sidewalk and wound through Davenport Funeral Home Friday as a public visitation was held for 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund.

Many mourners dressed in blue, or wore blue pins and ribbons, in honor of the boy. Blue ribbons were wrapped around some trees along the road and signs bearing AJ’s face were placed around the area.

People of all ages came to pay respects, many crying as they walked away from the funeral home.

Visitation will go until 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave./Route 176.

Overflow parking is available at Willow Creek Community Church, 100 S. Main St., Crystal Lake.

AJ died April 15. His obituary described him as a loving, affectionate and outgoing little boy, whose smile could light up a room. 

A Crystal Lake police officer stood watch over the small casket as mourners walked through the building. Some stopped to sign visitor books or pet the Golden retriever support dogs that sat throughout the procession. 

Ushers handed out a memory cards that showed a picture of AJ in a Chicago Cubs baseball cap and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-Shirt.

The back of the card reads:

“In loving memory of Andrew “AJ” Freund

October 14, 2013 - April 15,2019

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heave where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us in o let us know they’re happy. - Eskimo Proverb.”

AJ’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, have been charged with beating and killing their son days before reporting him missing to police.

DCFS had contact with AJ on and off since he was born in 2013 with opiates in his system, placing him in foster care for more than a year after he was born. 

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