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5 Tragic Details About The Dad Who Admitted To Murdering 5-Year-Old Son After Disneyland Trip To Get Back At Ex

Photo: Pankratov Yuriy / Shutterstock
5 Tragic New Details About The Dad Who Admitted To Murdering 5-Year-Old Son After Disneyland Trip To Get Back At Ex

What started as a family vacation to the happiest place on earth, ended in a father pleading guilty to murdering his own son. 

After two months of searching for 5-year-old Aramazd Andressian Jr., who disappeared after a trip to Disneyland in 2017, police found the boy's body near a lake where they had found his father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., unconscious.

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The man told police he didn't know where his son was, but evidence eventually connected him to his murder and he led them to his son's body. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and will spend 25 to life in prison

Though he originally denied any involvement, his lawyer then said that Andressian regretted his "awful crime." “He is beyond words in regretting having committed such an act,” the lawyer told reporters.

When he pleaded guilty, the mother of the boy, who was affectionately known as Piqui, sat in the courtroom clutching an urn. In her eulogy at Piqui's funeral, she read a letter to her son that said she was living under an “eternal shadow of devastation and emptiness” without him by her side. 

“There is no denying you were an extraordinary boy,” she said.

Here are some disturbing details we know about the case.

The boy was last seen alive leaving the theme park.


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The last time Piqui was seen alive was on April 21, 2017 around 1 AM, when he was leaving Disneyland with his father, his aunt and his grandmother. They were captured on surveillance video.

Before that, the boy hadn't been seen since the morning of April 15, during a custody exchange at a police department. His mother, Ana Estevez, said she Skyped with her son on April 18.  She reported him missing the day after they went to Disney when Andressian failed to show up at a planned custody exchange.

Andressian originally told police he was attacked and woke up in a hospital.

When police found Andressian, he told them he woke up in a hospital after a stranger found him passed out in a park. 

“In one moment, I was at the park with my son, and then I found myself waking up in Huntington Memorial Hospital hours later,” he wrote in a statement. “I was told that a good Samaritan found me unconscious on the ground near my car, with young Aramazd nowhere in sight. I can only speculate that I must have been attacked in the park, given my unresponsive state and subsequent physical condition.”

But police accused Andressian of having a selective memory of what happened to his son, and initially, they detained him, but had to release him due to a lack of evidence.  Though they found that he had been hospitalized earlier that morning, they had no evidence suggesting that he was attacked. 

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He may have killed his son to get back at his estranged wife. 

Andressian and Estevez were going through a messy divorce at the time, and police believe he had planned to kill Piqui to get back at her.

Court records show that he accused Estevez of spanking their son, using profanity in front of him and threatening to take him to Cuba. He was also concerned that her father once religiously sacrificed a rooster in front of Piqui.

Andressian accused the son of Ava's new boyfriend of sexually abusing Piqui in 2016. She told police she didn't have a boyfriend and that Piqui never complained of abuse. After a social worker visited the 5-year-old, he admitted that his father told him to lie. 

Estevez, who's a principal at an elementary school, accused Andressian of lying about being a stay-at-home-dad and said her mother and father took care of her son while she was at work.

She stated that he has a gambling problem and is addicted to prescription drugs. She also believed that he would take the child to Iran or Armenia if he was granted full custody.

Police believe Andressian was about to commit suicide. 

When police found Andressian, he was unconscious inside his gray BMW at a park in South Pasadena where his boy's body would later be found. Reports say his car was doused in gasoline, and police say he had tried to kill himself by taking prescription pills that weren't his. 

He tried to flee the country and even smiled during a hearing. 


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When Andressian was arrested for the second time in Las Vegas, police said he had lightened his hair and shaved his beard, prompting questions about whether or not he was planning to flee the country. Investigators believed he was making plans to go to a country where he could avoid extradition, and said he had ties to Armenia.

During one of his court appearances in June 2017, he laughed while talking to the judge about an extradition hearing. The judge said that authorities have 30 days to claim him, but "obviously given the media they’re going to come pick you up."

Andressian smiled and responded, "They’ll probably take me with them."

Andressian is spending 25-to-life in jail.

In August 2017, he was officially sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. At the sentencing, Estevez addressed Andressian, saying, "You are a failure as a father. You are a failure as a man. And you are a failure as a human being." She also said, "Piqui was my greatest happiness and now he is my greatest sadness."

Our hearts go out to the family. 

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Emily Blackwood is a freelance writer, editor and journalist who covers small business, pop culture, travel, health and wellness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on August 1, 2017 and was updated with the latest information.