Murdered Crystal Lake boy AJ Freund's mother is 7 months pregnant and will likely give birth in detention
Last month, authorities uncovered the body of five-year-old AJ Freund from a shallow grave in Woodstock, Illinois, about 10 miles from his residence in Crystal Lake. The discovery led to charges of murder, aggravated battery, and failure to report a missing child or death against parents JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr., CNN reports.
Cunningham is seven months pregnant. The mother of the deceased Crytal Lake boy is reportedly pregnant and will mostly give birth while in detention as she is charged with murder in the death of her son.
Jassen Strokosch, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said the agency will receive a call from the hospital once the baby is born, in order to initiate its involvement with the child.
"... Plans for the newborn will need to include permanency in another home," Strokosch said. "This could be with relatives or another foster care home. Ultimately, the decision will be up to a judge, but most likely the goal will be to work toward adoption."
Consideration for children born to mothers in prison is granted to family members if it's in the best interest of the child's well being. However, court documents revealed on Thursday that the father of Cunningham's baby was not Freund.
"If the father is able to care for the newborn, they would have custody of the child," Strokosch said. "If there isn't a father available and absent other plans, DCFS becomes involved. We would work with the courts to create a plan for the child based on the best interest of the newborn."
In order to determine custody, a judge will look at several different factors. That said, the parents have agreed to let Illinois' child welfare agency take care of their younger son. Meanwhile, county prosecutors have filed a petition to terminate both Cunningham and Freund's parental rights to the unborn child.
According to Strokosch, the same thing could happen when Cunningham gives birth. "The types of charges certainly play a role in determining if a parent is unfit to have custody of their child," he said. "In this case, the charges involved will certainly come into play." However, it is up to a judge to decide the long term custody for any child.
"Whatever judge oversees the custody of the newborn child will certainly take the family's wishes into account when determining what is in the best interest of the child," Strokosch added.