Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

California mother pleads for 5-year-old boy's safe return

California mother pleads for 5-year-old boy's safe return

Andressian Jr.'s mother, Ana Estevez, has recently reached out to the media, pleading for the safe return of her only son.

The mother of a California 5-year-old who's been missing for almost a month delivered an impassioned plea this week for the public's help in locating her son, who she believes is still alive.

Crews using dogs and drones scoured a 2-square-mile (5-sq. kilometer) area, rooting through thick brush and examining drainage tunnels.

Sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza says the boy's father is still a "person of interest" in his son's disappearance.

Mendoza would not say where the tip came from but did say "it was credible based on the information we have in the investigation". Authorities declined to elaborate on the nature of that tip.

About 80 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and South Pasadena Police Department were conducting the search operation in the park, located at 800 Stoney Drive, and the surrounding area for Aramazd Andressian Jr., said Deputy Don Walker.

"We are still remaining optimistic until we find out otherwise", Mendoza said.

The reward for any additional information regarding the case has also been doubled to $20,000, in a desperate attempt to save the lost child. There is also a GoFundMe account - www.gofundme.com/findingaramazd - created to supplement the reward.

The last confirmed sighting of the child was about 1 a.m. April 21, after the boy and his father left Disneyland. His son wasn't with him. He could not tell authorities where his son was, which kicked off a search that has spanned several Southern California counties. His gray BMW had been doused with gasoline. He added that officers also found a gas can and matches in the vehicle, as well as a rag stuffed in the car's gas tank.

Aramazd Andressian Sr. and his son are seen in a family photo. She reported the disappearance after his father failed to show up for a scheduled custody exchange in San Marino, near Pasadena, KTLA reported.

Law enforcement searched the park that weekend, but didn't find the boy.

The dad was found passed out in a South Pasadena park Saturday, the same day the boy's mother reported him missing.

The boy's father was initially arrested in the days following his disappearance, and held on $10 million bail, but was released due to lack of evidence. Police plan to return to Arroyo Seco Park. The next thing he remembers is waking up at Huntington Hospital. The boy's father was later discovered unconscious at the park and the boy was nowhere to be found.

According to investigators, Andressian's statements to them had been "inconsistent" and "misleading", and police suspect he may know more about his son's whereabouts than he's willing to share. "There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am".

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