Authorities search park where missing boy's father was found

Posted May 19, 2017

The mother of a 5-year-old missing from Southern California for almost a month is begging for her son's safe return.

Ana Estevez addressed reporters on Wednesday, telling them the disappearance Aramazd Andressian Jr. has rattled her to her core.

In April, Aramazd Andressian Sr. failed to show up to a prearranged meeting site to return the boy to his mother.

The boy was officially reported missing on Saturday, April 22.

Aramazd Andressian Jr. was reported missing on April 22. Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Sheriff's Department told the Times that, as a month has passed since the first search, "maybe there's different scents that are available".

Mendoza said Andressian's statements have been inconsistent and misleading.

The new search comes the day after Ana Estevez, Aramazd's mother, made a tearful plea for help finding her son.

Authorities have been looking for the boy since April 22, a search that 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.

The boy's father was initially arrested in the days following his disappearance, and held on $10 million bail, but was released due to lack of evidence.

Thursday's search will focus on the ravine and brush surrounding the park.

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. He did not have the child, and authorities said he had taken prescription drugs that were not his.

Andressian said his son wanted to go to the park that morning before they met with his mother for a custody exchange. The next thing he remembers is waking up at Huntington Hospital. Authorities added that matches and a gas can were found inside the vehicle, and that a gas-soaked rag was discovered near the gas cap, reports ABC 7.

"There are no words to describe how devastated and heartbroken I am", Estevez said through tears, before speaking directly to Aramazd.

"Detectives hope it will motivate someone to come forward with information", officials said in a news release.

"He's a free man and we are not surveilling him", Mendoza said. He added that officers also found a gas can and matches in the auto, as well as a rag stuffed in the car's gas tank. His gray BMW had been doused with gasoline.

South Pasadena police said Andressian was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and child abduction. Instead, police found him passed out near his auto in a nearby park.

The reward for any additional information regarding the case has also been doubled to $20,000, in a desperate attempt to save the lost child.