A Southern California father smothered his 5-year-old son to death and was planning to frame the child’s mother amid a contentious divorce and custody battle, according to officials.
Aramazd Andressian Sr. smothered Aramazd Andressian Jr. with the child’s jacket after they went to Santa Barbara County on April 21, said sheriff’s Detective Louie Aguilera, KTLA reported.
Now, he has been sentenced to 25 years to life for the crime.
Anressian Sr. put the boy’s body in a wilderness area near Lake Cachuma, Aguilera said.
He had plotted to kill the child about three or four months before it happened, the detective said, adding that he was trying to get back at his estranged wife, Ana Estevez. He then planned to kill himself as if his wife were involved, Aguilera said, without elaborating further.
“His intentions were to kill the child, kill himself, and have everyone point the finger at Ana, as her having something to do with it,” Aguilera to KTLA. “He had put some things in motion prior to—months in advance—to point toward her … alleging that she may have had something to do with following him, he felt he was in danger and he let people know about this.”
His estranged wife released a statement.
“I wish that I was taken instead of my son, so that my sweet baby can live,” Estevez said in a statement, 10News reported. “I will never see my son fall in love and marry the woman of his dreams. He was my greatest happiness and is now my greatest sadness.”
The child disappeared April 21 after he and his father went to Disneyland. Reports said that after the boy was reported missing, the elder Andressian was found passed out in a park, and his car was found doused with gasoline.
“There is no simple answer to that question [about why he killed the boy] because no measure of justice will bring my Piqui back,” Estevez said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I think a more appropriate response is that Piqui, my family, and I are victims of justice.”
She placed some of the blame on the L.A. County Department of Child and Family Services, saying that she had requested sole custody of the boy.
“So once again, I return to the question, ‘Was justice served?'” she asked. “In my eyes and in my heart, when there is accountability for all, then justice will have been served.”