Abuse investigator pleads not guilty in slain boy case

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois child welfare who investigated allegations of abuse involving a 5-year-old boy who was later beaten to death has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and reckless conduct.

The Northwest Herald reports that 54-year-old Carlos Acosta of Woodstock entered the plea Thursday in a McHenry County courtroom.

Acosta worked at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in the months before Andrew “AJ” Freund’s body was found in a shallow grave near his family’s Crystal Lake home in April 2019.

Both of his parents have since pleaded guilty to charges related to his death.