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The Latest: Agency reviews contact with slain boy’s family

April 26, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the death of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund in McHenry County (all times local):

11 a.m.

The caseworker and supervisor responsible for monitoring the well-being of a 5-year-old Illinois boy found dead in a shallow grave have been removed from work on child-welfare cases.

The Department of Children and Family Services announced Friday that the two employees have been placed on administrative duty without casework while the agency reviews their interaction with the family of Andrew “AJ” Freund of Crystal Lake and other families. A spokesman declined to name the employees.

DCFS released a timeline showing agency contact with AJ’s family dating to 2012. The latest case was opened in December 2018. Bruising on AJ was attributed to the family dog and the case closed in January.

AJ’s parents have been charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors allege the couple forced the boy to stand in a cold shower and beat him.

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8:25 a.m.

An Illinois lawmaker says the state’s new child welfare director will face tough questions from a state House panel following the beating death of a 5-year-old boy who had extensive contact with child welfare workers.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Sara Feigenholtz says Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc D. Smith will be questioned Friday in Chicago about the agency’s actions in the case of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund. He was under the agency’s watch when his badly beaten body was discovered Wednesday in a shallow grave in McHenry County.

His parents have been charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors allege the couple forced the boy to stand in a cold shower and beat him.

Feigenholtz is on the Appropriations-Human Services Committee, which is scheduled to hear budget requests from several state agencies, including DCFS.

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