(Ana Estevez walks out of court in Alhambra Wednesday surrounded by law enforcement. Photo by Eric Leonard.)
The South Pasadena father sentenced Wednesday to 25-years-to-life in prison for murdering his 5-year-old son -- got high and partied in Las Vegas while family, deputies, and volunteers searched frantically for his missing boy.
Aramazd Andressian, Sr. said nothing in court, but detectives said he confessed shortly after his arrest June 30 and admitted the killing was part of a botched revenge plot.
“It was planned for about three months, four months in advance,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Detective Louie Aguilera, who spoke publicly about the case in detail for the first time.
“His intentions were to kill the child, kill himself, and have everyone point the finger at Ana as her having something to do with it,” he said.
Ana is Ana Estevez, the mother of Aramazd Andressian, II, who told the judge at sentencing she felt she had died when she learned what happened to her son.
“Everything good in my life is missing since my son Piqui was taken from me,” Estevez said. “I wish that I was taken instead of my son, so that my sweet baby could live.”
Outside court Estevez, right, said the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services would be held responsible for ignoring her pleas -- to keep her son away from the father.
Andressian, Sr. had made false child abuse accusations against Estevez as the two fought in family court over custody and visitation.
“The system that failed my son will be addressed and held accountable for their incompetent actions, their horrific and uninformed decision making,” Estevez told reporters.
Andressian, II vanished while on a multi-day visit with his father. The boy was last seen leaving Disneyland after midnight April 21, and Det. Aguilera said Andressian, Sr. committed the murder hours later, after arriving at a turnout north of Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County.
“He smothered him with a piece of clothing that was in the car,” Aguilera said, and later described that clothing as a child’s jacket.
Andressian, Sr. then left his son’s body exposed in a wooded area about fifty feet from a parking lot at a scenic overlook.
The search for the boy began the following morning, April 22, after the father was found unconscious in a park in South Pasadena. Aguilera said the father had taken some prescription medication and had passed out before he could ignite gasoline that had been poured inside and outside of the father’s gray BMW sedan.
For the next 10 weeks numerous law enforcement agencies, family members, friends, and volunteers searched for the boy.
Andressian, Sr. maintained that he didn’t know what had happened to his son, and within weeks, the father had gone to Las Vegas, where he was being watched by investigators.
(Aramazd Andressian, Sr. at a hearing August 1. Photo by Al Seib/LA Times/Court Pool)
“We know that he was out partying, doing a lot of prescription medication,” Aguilera said. “He was going to concerts, several concerts, he went to a boxing match, he went skydiving, he was living the life that was not the life of someone that would be searching for his child.”
The father was also spending money he received in court-ordered spousal and child support payments from Estevez, who couldn’t stop the payments until Andressian, Sr. was charged with the murder in July.