Crystal Lake police, FBI continue search for missing 5-year-old boy

Members of the FBI specializing in missing children were called to Crystal Lake on Thursday as a search for a missing 5-year-old boy continued into the night.

Andrew “AJ” Freund was last seen about 9 p.m. Wednesday in the zero to 100 block of Dole Avenue in Crystal Lake, according to a news release from Crystal Lake police. His parents reported that they saw him at bedtime but were unable to locate him the Thursday morning.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the boy’s disappearance, according to the release. FBI members are working closely with detectives.

Andrew is about 3-foot-5, weighs 70 pounds and was last seen wearing a blue Mario sweatshirt and black sweatpants, according to the release. He has short, blond hair.

Crystal Lake police said in a statement released about 4:40 p.m. Thursday that they appreciated the show of support and willingness of the community to help locate the child. 

“We are diligently working to locate the child,” the statement read. “We will update the community as new information becomes available.”

Cars were backed up Thursday evening on Dole Avenue as police rerouted drivers, and neighbors could be seen talking outside. Dole Avenue was closed from South Oak Street to Hastings Avenue. Crews searched the water at Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Tom Kotlowski said additional police, K-9 units and search-and-rescue resources have been called to the area to help canvass the neighborhood and continue the search.

Because law enforcement officials are unable to confirm that an abduction had occurred, an AMBER alert was not issued, the release said.

Crystal Lake resident Janelle Butler said homes and yards around Dole Avenue were searched by police.

“They searched everybody’s yard, my garage. Everyone around here,” she said. “Heartbroken is all I can say. It doesn’t happen here. It’s Crystal Lake. ... This is a really quiet, safe part of Crystal Lake.”

Butler said she hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary this week.

“Everybody’s just concerned about the safety of him,” she said. “Unreal.”

Anyone with information on Andrew’s whereabouts is asked to call Crystal Lake police at 815-356-3620. Anonymous tips also can be submitted by texting CLPDTIP with the tip information to 847411.

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