CHICAGO (CBS) — While police were searching for A.J. Freund, his parents were in court, trying to get custody of their youngest son.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas has the story from the courthouse in Woodstock where the hearing just ended.
The three-year-old was taken from the home last week. The boy’s mother, Joann Cunningham was at one point hugging the father of the child.
They won’t be regaining custody of her younger son this week. The hearing was pushed back until next week. Cunningham’s lawyer said that Cunningham was not able to talk to reporters on Tuesday.
Off-camera, CBS 2 asked the boy’s father what his hopes were for court. He said his only comment is that he hopes the court sends their younger son back home. The state said that younger son is the victim of neglect and abuse.
The Department Of Children and Family Services has not said exactly where the younger son is, just that they placed him in protective custody after Andrew disappeared.
“The state filed a petition with multiple allegations and it requires a lot of work us to try to figure things out and sort things through. Right now that is all I have to say,” said attorney George Kililis, who didn’t answer when asked if the allegations were true.
DCFS investigated Cunningham for neglect back in 2013 after Andrew was born with opiates in his system. The agency took Andrew into protective custody and placed him in a foster home. He returned home in 2015 and records show the case was closed in 2016.
The reason for the postponement is that the judge decided there was a potential conflict of interest with the person appointed to represent the three-year-old’s interests in court. So the court is now working to find someone else to represent the child.
To catch up on CBS 2’s coverage, including a timeline, go to our website CBSChicago.com/searchforaj for more information.