(Reuters) – The parents of a boy whose body was found wrapped in plastic near his Illinois home pleaded not guilty on Friday to murder and other charges stemming from his death, according to court documents.
Joann Cunningham and Andrew Freund, the parents of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund, were arrested last month when police found his body in a shallow grave near his hometown of Crystal Lake.
His father reported him missing in April, triggering an exhaustive search by local police and the FBI.
Both Cunningham and Freund appeared in court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated battery, giving false information, child endangerment and other charges, according to the court.
Their trial is scheduled to start in June.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported in April that police had been concerned since at least September about living conditions in the home where AJ Freund lived with his parents and brother.
Police said the home was cluttered, dirty and in disrepair, with broken windows and a pervasive smell of feces, according to the newspaper.
Reporting by Makini Brice; editing by Jonathan Oatis
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