MISSING: Aramazd (Ara, A.J.) Andressian Jr. was last seen by his mother on April 18, 2017 via a Skype chat, which was broadcast from an unknown location. He was last seen by his father at Arroyo Park on April 22 at 6:30 a.m. wearing a turquoise shirt and plaid shorts.
Little Ara is 4’1″, 55 lbs, brown eyes and brown hair, and has a small mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.
Information about Aramazd Jr.’s location should be called in to sheriff’s detectives at 323-890-5500 or South Pasadena police at 626-403-7297.
The parents, Aramazd Andressian Sr. and Ana (Ann) Luisa Estevez-Andressian, are divorcing, and share custody on a biweekly basis. Because of the hostility levels between the parents, custody transfers take place at police stations. During each parents visit, two Skype sessions with the unattended parent are required.
Aramazd Sr. was formerly an associate dean at ITT college and may still be out of work. ITT closed its doors in September 2016. Ana was formerly LAUSD’s English learner compliance coordinator, and is now the 109th Street Elementary School’s principal in District 7.
During the week Ara went missing, the 35 year old father had custody. The mother was able to speak with her son on that Tuesday, April 18. But the next pre-planned Skype meeting for Thursday did not take place and the mother said she was not notified it would not occur. Instead, Aramazd Sr. took little Ara to Disneyland in Los Angeles, California. The father claims to have also brought along his mother, Ara’s paternal grandmother, to Disneyland. After midnight, Ara and his father are verified by a sheriff’s homicide officer to have been captured on video leaving the Disneyland theme park, but there is no mention of the grandmother by authorities.
The following Friday morning, the father’s silver BMW was seen in Orange County, indicating they slept the night somewhere in Los Angeles, CA. Later in the day, the father took Ara to the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area, where staff from the Cachuma Lake Store verified the father had been in shopping in the late morning or early afternoon. However, there are no verified sightings of Ara having been to the store that day.
One woman has also reported to multiple media outlets that while she was there camping she witnessed the father driving in his silver BMW some time between 11:30 am – 2:00 pm. appearing to be either crying or drunk. She claims Ara Jr. was in the passenger seat, not buckled into his car seat. She further states she remembers them both because she and the father made eye contact, he was swerving on the grass, he stopped at a trash can, and Ara Jr. was watching her son play with toys. However, law enforcement has not come forward with verification of this sighting.
On Saturday morning, April 22, Ara’s father says he and Ara ate breakfast, then went to Arroyo Park in Pasadena before meeting to transfer Ara back to his mom later that morning at the Baldwin Park Police Department. He has not indicated what time he arrived at the park. The temperature was reported as a cold 60*, and Ara was stated to have been wearing the turquoise shirt and plaid shorts, removing some credibility from the father.
At 6:30 am that morning, the fire department received calls from a “good samaritan” that a man was found unresponsive for unknown reasons on the ground, a few feet from his car, in the park by the baseball fields. This man turned out to be Ara’s father, who was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital by paramedics.
That same morning between 8:30-9:00 am, when Ara’s father did not arrive at the police station to return Ara, the mother filed a missing persons report. South Pasadena police located Ara’s father at the hospital and went to question him. The dad claims he woke up in the hospital hours later after being attacked and knocked unconscious in the park, not knowing where Ara was. “The father did not appear to be the victim of a crime, police said.” He immediately gave conflicting stories about when he had last seen Ara, and was unable to provide police with Ara’s location. Officers from surrounding agencies and searchers, about 125 people and two dogs, immediately began combing through the Arroyo Park area until 3:00 a.m. the following morning looking for Ara or clues to his whereabouts. There was no sign that Ara had been to the park that morning.
After an hours-long investigation on suspicion of child abduction and child endangerment, Aramazd Andressian Sr. was arrested by the South Pasadena Police Department, and he retained criminal counsel with Daniel Nardoni. Public court records revealed that bail was originally set at $10,000, but due to additional information uncovered by detectives it was increased to $10 million. Donning a hospital gown, his mugshot is available here.
That afternoon on April 23, Law enforcement held a press conference to announce the arrest, and why it was surmised that the father was applying “selective memory” of actually being with Ara, going from remembering something to not remembering something. “The father was communicative. He was not very forthcoming with information, was not very specific on his timeline, where he was with the child, where he was when the child was lost. He doesn’t really have a full memory of actually being with the boy,” said Chief Art Miller of the South Pasadena Police Department.” The next day, a second press conference was held, where the LA County sheriffs department was invited to join in the investigation and investigators described how the mother was distraught and being as helpful as possible.
While the father was in custody, Crime lab investigators were seen at his apartment. During this time is when investigators learned from the father that he and little Ara had been 130 miles away at the El Gerardo Point area of Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County on April 21. Law enforcement initiated a search for Ara with the help of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s dive team and K9 search. On April 25 in the midst of the lake search, searchers are suddenly called off and the search discontinued. It was learned that Ara’s father was released from jail with no charges filed against him.
On April 27, investigators served a search warrant at the residence of the paternal grandmother. The next day, a search warrant was served on the father’s residence. This second search now included use of a scent (cadaver) dog. Results of the searches have not yet been shared with the public.
UNSUBSTANTIATED THEORIES AND RUMORS
• In a media video, images of a court document reveal the paternal grandmother has been flagged as interjecting with the family’s handling of her son’s divorce. It states “Major issue is a dispute concerning the grandmothers conduct and allegations concerning the appropriateness of conduct at both fathers home and mothers home. Major issue is also conduct at transfers. But all issues on the table.”
• April 24 is Amarazd Sr.’s birthday, which is coincidentally in the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 remembrance month. In April 2016, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to begin recognizing the Armenian Genocide in schools. The Armenian National Committee of America is based in LA. The public has speculated that the Andressian family could be affiliated and receiving help to hide Ara, and that the father might to move him to another country with the help of the grandmother.
• The father was an Associate Dean at ITT prior to it closing down in September 2016. It is unknown if he is currently employed. Between losing his job, having to move, and his impending divorce, it is speculated that Amarazd Sr. was depressed and may have botched a murder-suicide after one last trip to Disneyland.
• It has been reported that the parents were in the middle of a hotly contested custody battle, and that the mother had previously taken out a restraining order against the father. Social media posts indicate that many people are theorizing Ara’s mother may have had the father attacked and she took and hid the boy.
April 15 – 8:00 am – Custody transfer of Ara to his father at Baldwin Park Police Station.
April 18 – 6:45 pm – Ara Skype video chats with his mother.
April 20 – 6:00 pm – Ara misses a pre-scheduled Skype video chat with his mother.
April 20 – Ara goes to Disneyland with his father and his paternal grandmother.
April 20/21 – Ara and his father are captured on video leaving Disneyland.
April 21 – The father’s vehicle is seen in the early morning hours in Orange County.
April 21 – The father is seen at Lake Cachuma Recreation Area.
April 22 – 6:30 am – The father is found in the park and taken to the hospital.
April 22 – 8:30-9:00 am – Time of re-arranged custody transfer in San Marino, CA.
April 22 – 8:30 am – The mother files a missing persons report.
April 22/23 – Search of the Arroyo Park area.
April 22 – Search of the father’s apartment at 2036 Alpha Avenue, South Pasadena, CA.
April 22 – The father is arrested, bail is set, and he retains criminal counsel.
April 22 – Law enforcement holds the first press conference.
April 23 – Law enforcement holds a second press conference.
April 24 – Crime lab investigators are seen at the father’s apartment.
April 24-25 – Search for Ara at Lake Cachuma.
April 25 – The father is released from jail and no charges are filed.
April 27 – A search warrant is served at the paternal grandmother’s residence.
April 28 – A search warrant is served at the father’s residence.
April 29 – The dad releases a statement that he is concerned for the welfare of Ara Jr. and wants the public’s help in finding him.