A California father is accused of murdering his 5-year-old son to get back at his ex-wife.
Investigators believe Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, killed his 5-year-old boy shortly after taking him to Disneyland on April 21, the Daily Mail reported. The father allegedly committed the murder to spite his estranged wife after their bitter divorce.
"I am confident the evidence proves Mr. Andressian committed this horrible crime," Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.
Investigators say there is strong circumstantial evidence to prove that the child was killed by his father. His body has been missing for two months and has not been found. He was last seen leaving Disneyland with his father.
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Police began investigating Andressian Sr. after he failed to return the child to his mother that same weekend.
Authorities have been searching for the child since they found his father passed out in a car in South Pasadena on April 22. Andressian Sr. had taken prescription pills and was found doused in gasoline in what police say was an attempt to take his own life.
Homicide detectives have searched a nearby lake twice but have found nothing. Dogs and dive teams were also utilized in the search.
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The father was arrested in Las Vegas because he was "becoming a flight risk," Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. He is being held on $10 million bond. Andressian Sr. had changed his appearance and was "socializing" in Las Vegas, conduct that was deemed inconsistent with that of a grieving parent, said sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza.
Authorities believe Andressian Sr. was planning on leaving the United States to go to a country that does not have an extradition agreement with the U.S., Mendoza added. They believe he killed his son in a attempt to get revenge on his ex-wife after their "tumultuous" relationship.
Andressian Sr. and his wife had been separated and were sharing custody of the boy. The mother last saw her son on a video chat on April 18 while he was visiting his father.
Andressian's attorney, Daniel Nardoni, said his client "is adamant that he never harmed his son, Aramazd, and is innocent of the charges."
Andressian Sr. will appear in a Las Vegas court on June 27 for an extradition hearing and will likely be brought back to Los Angeles, according to prosecutors.
"My heart is shattered and I will miss my son immensely each and every second of every day for the rest of my life," the boy's mother, Ana Estevez, said in a statement.
Andressian Sr. is now facing an unusual "no-body murder charge," Lacey said, according to KTLA.