A South Pasadena man who allegedly killed his 5-year-old son amid a bitter custody battle with the boy’s mother will be returned to the Southland Friday from Las Vegas, where he was arrested a week ago, authorities said
Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, was expected to arrive later Friday at Long Beach Airport and be incarcerated at Los Angeles County Jail, according to the sheriff’s department.
Andressian was arrested on June 23 on suspicion of killing Aramazd Andressian Jr., and has been in custody in Nevada since then in lieu of $10 million bail. The boy’s body has not been found.
An extradition hearing in Las Vegas on Tuesday cleared the way for Andressian’s return to the Southland. At the hearing in Las Vegas, Andressian, sporting dyed, light-colored hair, calmly told a judge that he would not resist being sent back to Los Angeles.
“If California wants me they can come get me … ,” Andressian said.
Andressian spent the 47 days prior to his arrest “socializing” in Las Vegas, L.A County Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. Joe Mendoza said.
Andressian planned his son’s murder to get back at his estranged wife during a “tumultuous” divorce and then tried to commit suicide — before heading to Las Vegas to prepare to flee the country, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said Monday.
“This is one of those cases that tore people’s hearts,” Capt. Christopher Bergner of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at a news conference.
The investigation into the death included several weeks of surveillance, during which the suspect “significantly” changed his appearance, acted in a manner inconsistent with the behavior of a grieving parent and appeared to be planning to flee to a country from which he could not be extradited, Mendoza said.
Sheriff’s officials have not provided specifics on any new evidence explaining the suspect’s latest arrest. He was originally arrested in Los Angeles County shortly after his son went missing but was later released for lack of evidence.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said her office filed one count of murder against Aramazd Andressian Sr. last week. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted.
Lacey said that while “no-body cases” present a challenge for prosecutors, her office has successfully obtained convictions in many such cases.
Andressian Sr.’s attorney, Daniel Nardoni, told Fox11 Monday that he was surprised by the arrest.
“I was surprised to see that he was arrested on the charge of murder in particular since they haven’t found a body and since he’s been adamant from day one he hasn’t done (anything) to harm his son or done anything to jeopardize his welfare,” Nardoni said.
The boy was last seen at 1 a.m. on April 21 leaving Disneyland with his father, who was found unconscious at Arroyo Seco Park in South Pasadena the next day and was unable to account for his son’s whereabouts. His car had been doused with gasoline and prescription drugs were found at the scene.
Mendoza said the killing was “pre-planned” and took place between the time father and son left Disneyland and the man was discovered unconscious at the South Pasadena park, the result of an unsuccessful suicide attempt.
The elder Andressian has been uncooperative and gave false information to investigators since he fell under suspicion, Mendoza said.
Andressian told investigators he 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, Mendoza said.
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 Recreation Area near Santa Barbara, where Andressian told authorities he took the boy the day after the Disneyland trip. Law enforcement officials intend to continue searching for the boy’s body in Santa Barbara County, Mendoza said.
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 feet 1 and 55 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and a small mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.
—City News Service