SOUTH PASADENA (CBSLA.com) – Funeral services were held Tuesday at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena for Aramazd "Piqui" Andressian Jr., the 5-year-old boy whose father has been charged with his murder.
A heartbroken mother carried a little hat toward the Hearse – where her son's small white casket was prepared for its final journey. It was a heart wrenching day for the family, friends and thousands of strangers who said goodbye to the boy.
Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, of South Pasadena, is accused of killing the boy amid a bitter custody battle with the child's mother. The boy's body was found June 30 near the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area in Santa Barbara County.
Andressian's son was last seen alive at 1 a.m. April 21 leaving Disneyland with his father, who was found unconscious at Arroyo Seco Park in South Pasadena the next day and was unable to account for the child's whereabouts.
He told investigators he arrived at the park with his son and waited for the golf course to open, and admitted ingesting prescription medication that was not prescribed to him, according to Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau.
LATEST COVERAGE: The Case of Aramazd Andressian Jr.
Andressian Sr. said he did not remember what happened to his child or any details that were useful in locating the boy, according to Mendoza, who said a prescription bottle was found inside Andressian's car, which was doused with gasoline inside and out.
Andressian Sr. was arrested but released for lack of evidence. He was arrested again on June 23 in Las Vegas, waived extradition and was returned to Los Angeles County on June 30 to face the murder charge. He was returned to L.A. the same day his son's remains were discovered in Santa Barbara County, in an area that had been searched before.
The search for the boy spanned several Southern California counties. Authorities focused on the Lake Cachuma area because Andressian Sr. told them he took the boy there the day after the Disneyland trip.
According to Mendoza, the killing was "pre-planned" and took place between the time Andressian and his son left Disneyland and the father was discovered at the South Pasadena park.
The boy's mother called authorities when the father failed to return him as planned.
Mendoza alleged that Andressian Sr. planned his son's murder to get back at his estranged wife during a "tumultuous" divorce and then tried to commit suicide before heading to Las Vegas to prepare to flee the country.
Andressian Sr. has pleaded not guilty to murdering his son and remains jailed in lieu of $10 million bail, pending his next court appearance Aug. 16, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. He could face up to 25 years to life in state prison if convicted.
His attorney, Ambrosio Rodriguez, told reporters shortly after his client's extradition that "there's been a rush to judgment" in the case.
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