The father of a missing 5-year-old South Pasadena boy has been charged with murder and will be extradited from Las Vegas next week after a two-month frustrating widespread search for the child.
Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, had originally been arrested shortly after Aramazd Andressian Jr. was reported missing in April, but was released then for lack of evidence.
The boy was last seen on the evening of April 20 at Disneyland with his father who was in the midst of a messy divorce. The father was found unconscious at Arroyo Seco Park two days later and was unable to account for his son’s whereabouts.
The boy’s dad was arrested Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, and law enforcement investigators said Andressian has already been charged with murder. However, District Attorney’s Office officials could not be reached for immediate comment.
Los Angeles sheriff’s officials have not provided specifics on any new evidence they may have uncovered that prompted Andressian’s renewed arrest. It wasn’t known if officials have found the boy’s remains.
Andressian was being held in Las Vegas in lieu of $10 million bail pending extradition. His arrest was coordinated by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives along with Las Vegas police and the U.S. Marshal’s Service, officials said.
“After reviewing all of the evidence in this case, homicide investigators presented the facts to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and obtained a murder filing against the suspect,” according to the sheriff’s department.
Officials planned to release more details about the investigation at a news conference Monday morning.
The elder Andressian was initially jailed for three days on $10 million bail before being released after the child was reported missing. He told investigators he had arrived at the park with his son and waited for the golf course to open, and admitted ingesting prescription medication that was not prescribed to him, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said earlier.
The father said he did not remember what happened to his child or any details that were useful in locating the boy, according to Mendoza, who said a prescription bottle was found inside Andressian’s vehicle, which was doused with gasoline inside and out.
Andressian was in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with the boy’s mother, Ana Estevez, who investigators have said is not a suspect in the child’s disappearance.
The search for the boy has spanned several Southern California counties, including in the Lake Cachuma area near Santa Barbara.
Detectives also served a warrant at the Montebello home of the boy’s paternal grandmother on May 25. The boy’s father had reportedly recently moved into the home, where investigators “seized various items of evidence,” according to a sheriff’s statement released at the time.
On April 28, the day a search warrant was served at his South Pasadena home, Andressian released a statement through his attorney saying, in part, that he hoped and prayed “for the safe return of my only child, my namesake … .” It was his only public comment on the boy’s disappearance.
The child’s mother contacted police at 9 a.m. April 22 to report her son missing. She said her estranged husband had failed to drop off the child at a pre-arranged meeting place.
A $20,000 reward has been offered by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for information that helps authorities locate the child, who is white, 4-foot-1 and 55 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and a small mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.
–City News Service