L.A. County Sheriff's Department Detective Joe Mendoza said there was circumstantial evidence that led investigators to ask District Attorney Jackie Lacey to bring the murder charge.
Aramazd Andressian Jr. has been missing since April 22, authorities said, after his father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., took him to a South Pasadena park where a custody exchange was to take place, authorities said.
The boy's body has never been found.
Andressian was in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with the boy's mother, Ana Estevez, who investigators have said is not a suspect in the child's disappearance. His auto had been doused with gasoline and prescription drugs were found at the scene. His arrest was coordinated by Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives along with Las Vegas police and the U.S. Marshal's Service, officials said. Andressian claimed he had no memory of what had happened but said he suspected he had been attacked after he took his son to the park the day he vanished. The toddler was last seen April 20 at Disneyland in Anaheim with his father. His gray 2004 BMW sedan was found nearby with its interior and exterior doused with gasoline.
A California man was arrested in Las Vegas Friday for the murder of his son, who has been missing since April.
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Investigators discovered that Aramazd Andressian had lightened the color of his hair, shaved off his beard and was making plans to head to a country where he could avoid extradition back to the United States, officials said at a news conference.
In a statement shared by the Sheriff's Department, Estevez thanked investigators and the community for all the concern they've shown for her son, who goes by the nickname "Piqui". His mother reported him missing on April 22, when Andressian failed to return their son.
When he failed to meet with ex-wife Ana Estevez at their pre-arranged meeting place on April 22, the authorities were notified by the anxious mother.
"Piqui was everything great in my life and I can not imagine the emptiness and void that I will bear until we are together again some day", she said.
He was arrested the same day his son was reported missing, but authorities later released him because, they said, there was not enough information to prosecute him at a time.
The case remains under investigation, and anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or leave an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-8477.