News - McHenry County

Prosecutors seek additional medical records for mother of AJ Freund

Prayer cards for AJ Freund, 5, sit on a table next to the visitor guestbook May 3, 2019, at Davenport Funeral Home in Crystal Lake.

A McHenry County judge has allowed prosecutors to subpoena for additional medical records belonging to a Crystal Lake mother accused of abusing and killing her 5-year-old son, AJ Freund.

Since her April 24 arrest, JoAnn Cunningham has received medical treatment from both the McHenry County Jail and Northwestern Medicine, prosecutors said. A voluminous set of records pertaining to Cunningham and AJ’s medical history were turned over Thursday to Randi Freese, co-chief of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division, but those records only referenced Cunningham’s treatment before her arrest.

Now prosecutors want medical information beginning from the time Cunningham arrived at the McHenry County Jail.

McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos objected to the subpoena, arguing in court Thursday that the records were subject to doctor-patient confidentiality.

Freese, however, said the records could contain key information about the motive for AJ’s death, or Cunningham’s ability to recollect the events.

McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt denied Mourelatos’ request to quash the subpoena, noting that “the defendant’s medical records may be relevant.”

Cunningham’s next court appearance in the criminal case is scheduled for Oct. 17.

A protective order that was filed soon after Cunningham’s arrest will keep the public from viewing the medical records or any other evidence collected throughout the investigation. Protective orders are a common practice and aren’t exclusive to the investigation surrounding AJ’s death.

Cunningham and AJ’s father, Andrew Freund Sr., each were charged April 24 with first-degree murder, aggravated battery and child endangerment among other offenses in connection with the young boy’s death.

The pair falsely reported AJ missing April 18, launching a large police and community search that ended days later when Freund led police to the rural Woodstock area where he allegedly buried the child.

Both Cunningham and Freund remained at the McHenry County Jail on Thursday, each on $5 million bond. Freund is due back in court Sept. 26.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald from 2017 through 2021. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.