News - McHenry County

Father of AJ Freund’s sister dies in Indiana

Daniel Nowicki

The father of accused murderer JoAnn Cunningham’s baby girl has died.

Daniel Nowicki, 37, died 7:09 p.m. Sunday in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Kokomo, Indiana, of a suspected overdose, said Dr. Steven Seele, coroner for Howard County.

“His death is being investigated as a drug overdose,” Seele said. “Toxicology labs could take three to four weeks.”

Seele said a Kokomo, Indiana, address was listed as Nowicki’s place of residence.

In recent court documents, Nowicki has listed addresses in Chicago and Wonder Lake.

Nowicki has not been linked to the death of AJ Freund but had a relationship with the boy’s mother, Cunningham, which resulted in her pregnancy. Nowicki was in jail at the time of Freund’s death.

AJ Freund, authorities said, was allegedly murdered by his parents, Cunningham, 36, and Andrew Freund, 60, in April, then buried in a shallow grave in Woodstock. His body was found almost a week later.

Nowicki was in McHenry County jail facing unrelated aggravated battery charges at the time AJ was killed. Before being arrested on those charges, Nowicki had been living at the home at 94 Dole Ave., where the child was allegedly murdered.

Months before AJ Freund had gone missing, Cunningham described Nowicki as a father figure to her children.

While Freund and Cunningham remain held in McHenry County jail on $5 million bond, officials conducted a paternity test that revealed Nowicki had fathered Cunningham’s daughter.

The baby girl was born in May.

A warrant had been issued for Nowicki’s arrest Sept. 5 after he failed to appear in court on a petition to revoke his probation after failing a drug test on the unrelated aggravated battery charges.

Attempts to reach family and friends were unsuccessful.

Nowicki’s mother posted on her Facebook page, “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, my son is at peace now.”

Amanda Marrazzo

Amanda Marrazzo is a staff reporter for Shaw Media who has written stories on just about every topic in the Northwest Suburbs including McHenry County for nearly 20 years.