Last Friday, hundreds of people stood in a line that stretched a three blocks long to pay respects to Andrew "AJ" Freund, whose body was found after being reported missing in Crystal Lake in late April.
The Davenport Funeral Home extended visitation Friday until 10PM to accommodate the large numbers that came from all over the state. People were given a prayer card seen above as they signed a guest book. A table next to the tiny casket holding the 5-year-old's body displayed hundreds of flowers, notes, stuffed animals and other toys.
AJ was buried after a private family funeral Saturday.
The little boy was allegedly killed by his mother and father, who each are now being held on $5 million bond. The parents had reported him missing before law enforcement affidavits say his father buried him in a shadow grave in nearby Woodstock as police and community members searched parks, ponds, and farms for the boy.
The Crystal Lake community came together to try to make sense of it. I cannot make sense of it. It was reassuring to see hundreds of people patiently waiting in line to pay final respects. My estimate is a few thousand people – many visibly shaken by the tragedy – stopped by the visitation which lasted 1:00pm till 8:00 pm.
I stopped by the Freund home in Crystal Lake. The house is boarded up and still appears to be a crime scene as police were guarding it Friay. There is a large shrine to A.J. out front with thousands of flowers, notes,, toys, and stuffed animals. The house is not in very good shape and I would not be surprised if it is torn down very quickly.
I cannot make sense of this murder of a five year old boy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew, his brother, his family, and the people of Crystal Lake.