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Search for Missing 5-Year-Old Southern California Boy Continues in Santa Ynez Valley

Authorities set up command post at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School as 7-week hunt for Aramazd Andressian Jr. turns to area roadways

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter sits on the field at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, part of a large contingent of law enforcement personnel taking part in the search for 5-year-old Aramazd Andressian, a South Pasadena boy who has been missing since April 20. Click to view larger
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter sits on the field at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, part of a large contingent of law enforcement personnel taking part in the search for 5-year-old Aramazd Andressian, a South Pasadena boy who has been missing since April 20. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Los Angeles-area law enforcement personnel continued their Santa Ynez Valley search on Saturday for a missing Southern California boy who was last seen April 20 at Disneyland with his father.

5-year-old Aramazd Andressian is 3-foot-5 and weighs 55 pounds. He has been missing since April 20.
5-year-old Aramazd Andressian is 3-foot-5 and weighs 55 pounds. He has been missing since April 20. (Andressian family photo)

On April 25, investigators combed Lake Cachuma for signs of the 5-year-old, Aramazd Andressian Jr. Authorities had determined that his father had visited the lake April 21.

The goal of Saturday’s roadside searches in a roughly 20-mile area between Nojoqui Falls and Cachuma was to locate additional evidence around the elder Andressian’s time in the Santa Ynez Valley.

“There really hasn’t been anything too significant, except now that we’ve combed through a lot of evidence, we believe that Andressian Sr. actually came through some of these roads here,” Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau told Noozhawk.

“We want to make sure he didn’t discard anything off of the roadways.”

The renewed search, expected to last about six hours, included some 150 search-and-rescue personnel from all over Southern California, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the South Pasadena Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Staged at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, 2975 Highway 246, the search effort included a helicopter, a drone, scent dogs, ATVs and Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies on horseback.

Aramazd’s mother reported him missing the morning of April 22 after Andressian failed to return him to her South Pasadena home. The couple is in the process of divorcing.

Later that morning, Andressian, 35, was found alone and unconscious in a vehicle in a South Pasadena park.

He was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and child abduction, and was not forthcoming with investigators, giving conflicting statements, Mendoza told Noozhawk in April.

The Los Angeles Times reported that law enforcement agencies decided not to present the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney due to insufficient evidence.

Mendoza told the newspaper that Andressian had provided authorities with “inconsistent” and “misleading” statements.

Investigators were able to determine that the father, who was released from custody three days after his arrest, spent April 21 at Lake Cachuma.

Last month, authorities searched the boy’s paternal grandmother’s Montebello home for evidence, but declined to describe what they had uncovered, telling the Times that the search was related to “new investigative leads that we have developed.”

Andressian still remains a person of interest, since he was the last person seen with his son.

A command post has been set up at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School as part of the search for clues in the disappearance of Aramazd Andressian, whose father reportedly was traced to Lake Cachuma on April 21, a day after the boy was last seen. Click to view larger
A command post has been set up at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School as part of the search for clues in the disappearance of Aramazd Andressian, whose father reportedly was traced to Lake Cachuma on April 21, a day after the boy was last seen. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

A month and a half after his disappearance, the 5-year-old is still considered a missing person, and is thought to be in the Santa Ynez Valley area, Mendoza said.

His mother, Ana Estevez, was in Santa Barbara last week posting and handing out fliers. Los Angeles County has a $20,000 reward for information regarding her son’s disappearance.

“We are going to be optimistic that he is alive somewhere with someone until we find out otherwise,” Mendoza said Saturday.

Investigators are also looking for information on Andressian’s gray BMW, which was doused in gasoline when he was discovered unconscious next to it. They want to know whether anyone had seen it in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Aramazd was described as 3 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 55 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a turquoise shirt and plaid shorts.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323.890.5500.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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