Mom not cooperating with police amid search for 5-year-old boy: Officials

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JoAnn Cunningham, the mother of missing 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund, is being “uncooperative” with investigators as the frantic search for the Illinois boy reaches a fifth day, Crystal Lake police said on Monday.

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AJ was last seen the night of April 17. Police say there’s no indication he was abducted.

The young boy was put to bed but in the morning he was gone, Cunningham’s attorney, George Kililis, told “Good Morning America” this weekend.

Cunningham reported AJ missing on April 18, Kililis said.

Cunningham spoke with multiple officers and “was fully cooperating with the police without holding anything back,” Kililis said.

Crystal Lake Police Department via AP

This undated photo provided by the Crystal Lake, Ill., Police Department shows Andrew “AJ” Freund.

Kililis said he then got the impression that police considered Cunningham to be a suspect when her home and phone were searched.

“Those are not actions you take unless you consider somebody a suspect,” he said, adding that he told her to remain silent.

“She has nothing to do with his disappearance or anything that may have happened to him,” Kililis said. “She’s nothing more than a grieving mother.”

“I just want my kids. That’s my life,” Cunningham told “GMA” through tears.

Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP

JoAnn Cunningham, mother of missing 5-year-old child Andrew “AJ” Freund, stands with her attorney George Killis outside the Freund home on Friday, April 19, 2019 in Crystal Lake, Ill.

The boy’s father, Andrew Freund, spoke with detectives on Saturday, police said.

No arrests have been made, police said.

Canine teams have only picked up the boy’s scent within his home, which police said indicates he didn’t walk away on foot. Investigators remain focused on AJ’s house and the people who may have seen him last, police said.

Paul Valade/Daily Herald via AP

Police remove items from the home of missing 5-year-old boy Andrew “AJ” Freu in Crystal Lake, Ill., April 18, 2019.

As the investigation continues, AJ’s younger brother has been placed in a different home under a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) safety plan, a DCFS spokesman told ABC News.

DCFS has had contact with AJ’s family since the boy was born in 2013, the spokesman said.

The last contact between DCFS and the family was in December 2018. Child protection staffers were investigating allegations of abuse and neglect, he said. The allegations were unfounded, he added.

“The disappearance of AJ shouldn’t impact her ability to parent,” Kililis said, adding, “We will cooperate with DCFS, we understand what they’re doing… they’re doing their job.”

“We think we’ll be able to provide ample evidence that JoAnn had nothing to do it” and was providing a “safe environment,” he said.

The FBI’s Chicago bureau is involved in the case.

AJ is described as standing at 3 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 70 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620.

ABC News’ Henderson Hewes, Alex Faul and Michelle Ciccotelli contributed to this report.

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