Arrest of Two Former Illinois Child Welfare Employees Executed in Relation to the Death of AJ Freund

Carlos Acosta, 54, and Andrew Polovin, 48, of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) who oversaw the case of Andrew “AJ” Freund were arrested on Thursday, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

In a news release by the sheriff’s office, they were taken into custody Thursday evening. Jail records show that a $20,000 bond was posted by both men later in the night.

The court charged both parties with two felony counts of endangering the life of a child and one felony count of reckless conduct.

“The DCFS workers failed in performing their duties and this was the cause of AJ Freund’s death”, CNN affiliate WLS reported.

At the moment, it is unclear if either man has an attorney but the sheriff’s office said it does not have any additional information to release as regards the investigation.

5-year-old AJ Freund’s body was found in a shallow grave days after his parents reported him missing. He died from head trauma due to blunt force, a pathologist revealed through a coroner’s report.

Reports and documents from DCFS’ records showed that the agency’s encounter with the family included 17 unannounced visits between June 2015 and March 2016. DCFS said the worker did not observe signs of abuse or neglect, at the time.

JoAnn Cummingham, Freund’s mother, and Andrew “Drew” Freund Sr., his father were charged with murder alongside other offences. Having pleaded guilty in December, the former was sentenced in July to 35 years in prison. The father awaits trial and a status hearing in his case is scheduled for September 16, according to court records.

The Illinois Office of the Inspector General said in its annual report in January, “that investigators from DFCS ignored the parent’s apparent addiction history including a recent relapse by the mother, and the parents’ isolation of the kids from caring family members and daycare experts.”

CNN has confirmed from DCFS’ spokesperson both men are no longer in the employ of the organization. However, the spokesperson refused to give any other information.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks encouraged Acouta to resign from Board membership.

Franks called for an overhaul of the child welfare system so as to guard against the reoccurrence of such tragedy and added there is the need “to hold people accountable if they were negligent in their duty.