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Mother of missing boy describes son as 'super sharp and smart' and a 'good big brother' who loves to draw

Amanda Marrazzo, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. -- As Easter morning began and many children prepared to hunt for Easter eggs or were tearing into their Easter basket goodies, 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund still was missing.

Police offered no new updates Sunday morning as to the boy's whereabouts.

His parents, Andrew Freund and JoAnn Cunningham, told police they last saw their son about 9 p.m. Wednesday when he went to bed. They awoke Thursday morning and he was gone, they have said.

Cunningham, through her attorneys, agreed on Sunday to answer questions posed by the Tribune. Jeannie Ridings, one of Cunningham's attorneys, responded to questions via text on her client's behalf.

Ridings said Cunningham attended church Easter Sunday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Crystal Lake and has been spending her time talking to people and hanging up flyers all over town searching for her son.

Cunningham, through her lawyer's texts, said her son "loves Legos and dinosaurs."

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She said that as a family, they do not watch much TV, but when the children did get screen time, they would watch YouTube videos about Lego Army or wildlife videos. AJ "loves to draw and color," she said.

"He is so smart, like 'Einstein smart' and was going to start Kindergarten this fall," his mom said.

Cunningham said her son is "such a good big brother." Cunningham, who is currently seven months pregnant, said the family had recently gone to light a candle for her new baby at their church. She also said the boys often sleep together and like to wait up for their dad to come home from work to have dinner with him.

"The boys love each other dearly and do everything together. AJ is really outgoing and loves to talk," the mom said.

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