(WAND) - Two former Illinois Department of Children and Family Services employees who oversaw AJ Freund's case are now facing felony charges.
Little Andrew “AJ” Freund was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a remote area in the northwest suburb of Woodstock, just miles from the Crystal Lake home where his parents had reported the boy missing the week before.
Before his death, AJ had extensive contact with the child welfare agency.
In Dec. 2019, the department confirmed employees Carlos Acosta and his supervisor Andrew Polovin left the agency after a lengthy internal investigation.
Acosta, 54 of Woodstock, and Polovin, 48, of Island Lake, were charged with two felony counts of endangering the life of a child and one felony count of reckless conduct. Both were arrested and taken to the McHenry County Correctional Facility.
Both were involved in an investigation of Freund.
The boy's parents, Joann Cunningham and Andrew Freund, were arrested and charged on April 24, 2019, the same day the child's body was found.
Cunningham pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 35 years in prison in July. Attorneys representing Freund said in late August that a plea deal was possible in the next few weeks.
Acosta was the child protection specialist assigned to check a December 2018 call from Crystal Lake police about a bruise on Freund's right hip, NBC Chicago reports. The boy gave different versions of how he got the injury, including that the family dog had done it while he was playing with it. But records show he also told an emergency room doctor, “Maybe mommy didn't mean to hurt me.”
Acosta said in December that he followed protocol in not going back to question the child about the bruise and that the child's injuries didn't meet the threshold to get a second opinion from a pediatric specialist, NBC Chicago said.
"I don't deny the fact that I was there four months before and that's something that I'm going to have to live with forever," Acosta told Shaw Media Illinois in an interview late last year. “And again, should have, could have, would have. Did I still follow the policy and weigh the evidence that I had at the time? Yes.”
Polovin has not spoken publicly about the case.