WOODSTOCK, Ill (CNN) --- A Crystal Lake mother charged in the beating death of her son, 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund, appears in court for the first time after pleading guilty to murder.
Joann Cunningham, 36, recently changed her plea to guilty and faces up to 60 years in prison. She will learn her sentencing date on March 19.
Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr. called police in April 2019 to report the boy missing from their Crystal Lake home. They said they last saw him when putting him to bed the previous night.
Police found the child's body in a shallow grave in Woodstock, the same day Cunningham and Freund Sr. were arrested and charged in the case. AJ's body had been wrapped in plastic. The coroner ruled he died of head trauma as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.
Cunningham and Freund Sr. were each indicted on 20 charges, including first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child, among others connected to AJ's death.