Public Memorial To Be Held For South Pasadena Boy Allegedly Killed By Father
Aramazd Andressian Jr., the five-year-old boy whose disappearance led to a months-long search by the Sheriff's Department, was laid to rest on Tuesday during a private funeral. On Wednesday, a public memorial will be held at 7 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Arcadia. According to the Pasadena Star-News it may be attended by "anyone wishing to grieve with the family of Ana Estevez, the mother of the boy."
Andressian Jr.'s disappearance was first reported on April 22, after he and his father—Aramazd Andressian Sr.—failed to show up at a scheduled drop-off with Estevez. The father and mother are separated and share custody of the child.
The same day that Estevez had called police about her son, authorities found a passed out Andressian Sr. in Arroyo Park in South Pasadena. He was by his car, which authorities later revealed had been doused in gasoline, and where a gas-soaked rag was discovered near the gas cap. Andressian Sr., who said he couldn't account for his son's whereabouts, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, but was later let go due to lack of evidence.
Before the discovery, the L.A. County district attorney's office filed murder charges against Andressian Jr., and the sheriff's department announced that detectives believe that Andressian Sr. had killed his son as an act of revenge on Estevez—the two were allegedly going through a "tumultuous divorce."
At the time that the charges were filed, Andressian Sr. was spending time in Vegas, which sheriff's deputies had characterized as unusual. "I can only speak for myself. If my son was missing, I would be doing things that Ana (suspect’s wife) was doing - circulating fliers, looking for your son. He was not doing that. He was socializing in Vegas,” said Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Lt. Joe Mendoza during a news conference. Las Vegas police arrested Andressian Sr., and a judge ordered that he be extradited back to Los Angeles to face the murder charges.
Andressian Sr. pled not guilty to the charges on July 3 at a hearing in Alhambra. He's expected to return to court on August 16 to set a date for a preliminary hearing. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years to life in prison.
At Tuesday's funeral service at Holy Family Catholic Church, Estevez shared a letter she'd written to her deceased son. "Although I find myself living with an eternal shadow of devastation and emptiness because I don't have you here with me, I want the world to see what an amazing child you were, through my eyes, and to see you as the gift that God blessed me with for five years, two months and two days," she read, according to Fox 11.
A GoFundMe page was set up by acquaintances of Estevez. The page says that "any donation made will help to alleviate the financial stress of expenses related to the funeral service, memorial service, legal expenses, and living expenses."
The memorial starts Wednesday (July 19) at 7 p.m. at Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, which is located at 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, (626) 821-3222.