In April 2017 a BMW was found doused in petrol with a man slumped over the steering wheel. A pedestrian was walking in the Arroyo Seco Park, South Pasadena, when they came across the vehicle and called emergency services.
The unconscious man in the car was Aramazd Andressian Sr. He had spent the previous day with his son, Piqui, at Disneyland and was due to drop him back to his ex-wife the previous evening. They never returned so Ana Estevez, a school principal, reported the boy missing.
There was no sign of the boy in the car or at the theme park and when he finally came round, Aramazd said that he may have been attacked and that he had no recollection of what had happened.
Through his lawyers, he released a statement: “I was at the park with my son, and then I found myself waking up in Huntington Memorial Hospital hours later. I can only speculate that I must have been attacked in the park given my unresponsive state and subsequent physical condition. My family and I are heartbroken and grief-stricken that Aramazd Jr is missing and may be in harm’s way.”
A huge search of the area was conducted by authorities but they were unable to find the child. They had their suspicion that the father had been involved in his disappearance somehow. He was arrested but released due to insufficient evidence.
However, his behaviour was not that of a father who had lost his son so the police became more suspicious and arrested him again. During that round of questioning he finally revealed the whereabouts of the child. He was by a tree next to a lake.
The police believe that he had killed the child within a few hours of leaving Disneyland and that his only motive was revenge on his ex-wife.
A funeral was arranged to celebrate the life of the child and hundreds of mourners attended to pay there respect to the boy who always had a smile on his face.
The father originally pleaded not-guilty to first degree murder but later changed his plea to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison and was told he would have to serve at least 25 years before even the chance of parole.
He is now behind bars and his lawyer has released a statement on his behalf: “He will forever be sorry and regrets what he did and this is something he will live with for the rest of his life.”