The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors doubled a reward to $20,000 Tuesday in hopes of generating tips that help authorities locate a 5-year-old South Pasadena boy who has been missing since April 22.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended the increase at the request of detectives working the case and urged the public to come forward with any “information (about) any person who may be concealing the child or who may have information about the child’s disappearance or whereabouts.”
The search for Aramazd Andressian Jr. has spanned several Southern California counties, including Santa Barbara, where authorities searched in the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area where the boy may have been with his father on April 21.
Aramazd Andressian Sr. was arrested April 22 and released from jail three days later. He was initially held in lieu of $10 million bail after he was found unconscious at South Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco Park and could not account for his son’s whereabouts. The search started that day.
On April 28, the day a search warrant was served at his South Pasadena home, Andressian released a statement through his attorney about his son’s disappearance.
“I hope and pray for the safe return of my only child, my namesake, who has been missing since last Saturday morning, April 22nd,” he said.
Andressian said his son wanted to go to the park that morning before they met with his mother for a custody exchange.
“In one moment, I was at the park with my son, and then I found myself waking up in Huntington Memorial Hospital hours later. I was told that a good Samaritan found me unconscious on the ground near my car, with young Aramazd nowhere in sight. I can only speculate that I must have been attacked in the park, given my unresponsive state and subsequent physical condition,” the statement said.
He said he and his family “are heartbroken and grief-stricken that Aramazd Jr. is missing and may be in harm’s way. I am pleading with the public to come forward with any knowledge of Aramazd Jr.’s whereabouts or information regarding the circumstances leading up to his disappearance.”
When Andressian was released from custody, the sheriff’s department said it had decided “not to present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office for filing consideration at this time. The matter remains under investigation.”
Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Bergner said the weekend the child disappeared that his father’s statements had “been convoluted and not consistent.”
The boy’s mother contacted police at 9 a.m. April 22 to report her son missing. She said her estranged husband, with whom she shares custody of their son, had failed to drop off the child at a pre-arranged meeting place.
The boy was last seen by his mother on April 18, via a Skype video call from an unknown location, South Pasadena police said.
Bloodhounds combed Arroyo Seco Park at least twice, and Sierra Madre’s search-and-rescue team and the San Gabriel and San Marino police departments joined the search.
Authorities also searched in Orange County, where a gray 2004 four-door BMW owned by Andressian was seen on the morning of April 21 at Disneyland in Anaheim, where he and the boy apparently spent the day on April 20, officials said.
The child is white, 4 feet 1 and 55 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a plaid shirt and plaid shorts and has a small mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.
South Pasadena police asked anyone with information about the boy to call them at (626) 403-7297. Sheriff’s detectives can be reached at (323) 890-5500.
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