It's been three years since 5-year-old Aramazd "Piqui" Andressian Jr. was murdered by his own father. The father ultimately confessed to killing the child because he was angry at his estranged wife.
The case made national headlines.
Today, Piqui's mother is backing a proposed state law that would allow certain types of abuse to be considered in divorce and custody cases. The bill, SB-1141 the "Domestic violence: coercive control" bill, is awaiting a vote in the State Assembly, which could happen as soon as this weekend.
In an exclusive one-on-one with the NBCLA I-Team, she said the new law could protect children from suffering the same fate as her little boy.
"I think of how beautiful he was, how much I enjoyed hearing him laugh," said Ana Estevez, recalling her "miracle" baby, born after five miscarriages. "I think about how much he enjoyed life and how much he loved his mommy and his daddy no matter what."
In 2017, in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody fight, Estevez's estranged husband - Aramazd Andressian of South Pasadena, smothered his 5-year-old son with the boy's own sweater, and left him in the woods of Santa Barbara County.
The father at first claimed the boy had mysteriously vanished after a trip to Disneyland.
For months, while Estevez frantically searched for her son, investigators say, the father partied in Las Vegas, until a trail of clues led to his arrest.
Aramazd Andressian pleaded guilty to first degree murder in august 2017. Authorities say he killed his son to spite his ex.
"I was fearful of every move I made because the judge always believed everything that he said," Estevez said.
She said that just months before her son's murder, she filed for a restraining order, documenting with the court how Andressian would tell her she was not a woman because she couldn't get pregnant, that he'd hacked into her social media and phone account and threatened Piqui.
"My son was terrified."
She says the judge denied the order and the boy's father was given extended visits in the days prior to killing his son.
"If I would have walked into court with a black eye or broken arm, perhaps the outcome would be different."
Earlier this summer Estevez testified at a state senate hearing advocating for new proposed legislation that would expand the definition of domestic abuse to include "coercive control," emotional or psychologically abusive behavior.
"My goal is to ensure that victims are able to bring their stories of abuse, coercive control all together to courts and try to see if we can at least give victims a better chance of being successful in the court system," said State Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, the bill's author and a domestic violence survivor.
Data shows that since 2008, 748 children have been killed in the U.S. by a divorcing or separating parent.
Estevez says the proposed law could change that.
"Don't give up hope," she said. "Do everything that you can to escape that type of environment.
"I would ask the lawmakers to to really open up their hearts and consider sensitive topics such as domestic violence and child abuse because there is such a need for change."