The mother of a 5-year-old boy missing since his father was found unconscious in a South Pasadena park on April 22 pleaded Wednesday for the public’s help in finding her son, calling his disappearance her “worst nightmare.”
“It has been 32 days, almost three hours, since I last hugged my son, kissed him or told him how much I love him,” Aramazd Andressian Jr.’s mother, Ana Estevez, said in an emotional statement to reporters outside the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. “There are no words to describe how devastated and heartbroken I am.”
She reported the boy missing April 22 after her ex-husband, Aramazd Andressian Sr., failed to show up with him for a child custody exchange in San Marino after what was to be a weeklong visit. The father was initially held in lieu of $10 million bail after he was found unconscious at Arroyo Seco Park and could not account for his son’s whereabouts, but he was subsequently released by authorities without any charges being filed against him.
“My son’s disappearance is my worst nightmare,” Estevez told reporters.
The boy’s mother said she doesn’t know her son’s whereabouts, but believes the boy she calls “Piqui” is alive, misses his family and “desperately wants to come home.”
In a message directly to her missing son, Estevez said, “To my son, this message is for you, my love, be brave, honey. Know that Mama and a lot of people are working very hard to bring you home.”
She noted that her son had asked her shortly before he disappeared if the happiest day of her life was when he was born, and she told him it was “the happiest day ever.”
“I want you to know that the second happiest day of my life will be when you come home. You are missed more than words can say. Don’t ever forget that Mama loves you to the moon and stars. I am counting the days until I see you again, honey,” she said.
The boy’s mother pleaded for public help in locating her son.
“If you have any information or know of my son’s whereabouts, I beg you to please contact the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department or any local law enforcement agency,” she said. “Piqui wasn’t just stolen from me. He was taken from a community of many, many individuals who love him. And to those who are concealing my son, I pray ever day God will touch your heart, guide you to do the right thing and return my son. … It’s time to bring my son home.”
The boy’s father is described as a “person of interest” in his son’s disappearance, according to Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide bureau.
Aramazd Andressian Sr. told investigators he had arrived at the park with his son and waited for the golf course to open, Mendoza said.
“He then admitted to ingesting prescription medication that was not prescribed to him. He did not remember what happened to his child or any details that were useful in locating his son,” the sheriff’s lieutenant said. “Aramazd Sr.’s statements were inconsistent and misleading. He has not offered any additional information and has only offered a written statement through his attorney.”
A prescription bottle was found inside his vehicle, Mendoza said.
“There was gasoline in the interior and doused all over the exterior. There (were) matches in there and there was a gas container,” Mendoza said, noting that a rag that had been doused with gasoline was found in the area near the vehicle’s gas cap. “As to how those items play into what occurred, he has not been cooperative, so we do not know.”
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors doubled what had been a $10,000 reward in hopes of generating new tips.
The search for the boy 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.
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.”
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.
—City News Service
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