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Illinois mom charged in son's death gives birth to daughter, who's been placed in DCFS custody, sources say

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 6/12/2019 By Amanda Marrazzo, Chicago Tribune
a couple of people that are talking to each other: JoAnn Cunningham, striped top, leaves the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, Ill., on April 23, 2019. © Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS JoAnn Cunningham, striped top, leaves the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, Ill., on April 23, 2019.

CHICAGO - The Crystal Lake woman charged with murder in the death of her 5-year-old son has given birth to a daughter, and the newborn has been placed into the custody of the state's child welfare agency, sources said.

The girl was born to JoAnn Cunningham on May 31. At a hearing Monday in McHenry County juvenile court, Cunningham agreed to allow the girl to be kept in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, sources said. It was not revealed where the girl was living.

DCFS, through a spokesman, said it "will not be sharing information related" to the case, citing privacy reasons.

Cunningham's son Andrew "AJ" Freund was beaten to death in April, and found wrapped in plastic and buried in a field near Woodstock, authorities said. Cunningham and AJ's father, Andrew Freund, are charged with murder and are being held in the McHenry County jail on $5 million bail.

At Monday's hearing, Judge Christopher Harmon ordered that Andrew Freund and another man submit to testing to determine the paternity of the baby girl, sources said. All parties are due back in court to learn the results of the paternity testing July 8.

Related video: Thousands attend public visitation for AJ Freund (WGN-TV Chicago)

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In April, a judge ordered that Freund submit to a paternity test to help determine the paternity of AJ's younger brother - Cunningham's 4-year-old son. A hearing on that matter is set for June 24. The younger brother is also in the custody of DCFS.

The other man who was ordered Monday to take a paternity test was present in juvenile court with his attorney, sources said.

He had been in custody at the McHenry County jail since December until late May after being arrested and charged for allegedly attacking a security guard and two nurses at a hospital, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty May 22. He was given two years of probation and released on time served. On Tuesday, the man was back in jail after failing a drug test, jail officials confirmed.

A charging document in December lists his address as the same home on Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake where AJ Freund lived with his parents, who were not married.

Authorities alleged that on April 18 Andrew Freund made a false 911 call reporting AJ missing. A massive search for the boy was conducted until about a week later when his body was found.

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(Amanda Marrazzo is a special correspondent.)

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