After a tearful public plea from the mother of a missing South Pasadena 5-year-old, 80 deputies and officers were searching a park Thursday for the boy who has been missing for month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
Aramazd Andressian Jr. was reported missing on April 22. The reward to find the boy was doubled to $20,000 Tuesday, and Wednesday his mother Ana Estevez spoke in front of TV news cameras at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles.
"Don't ever forget that mama loves you to the moon and the stars," she said. "I'm counting the days until I see you again honey, and I will never stop looking for you."
U.S. & World
News from around the country and around the globe
The Thursday morning search began at 6 a.m. at Arroyo Seco Park, where the boy's father, Andressian Sr., was found unconscious the morning the boy went missing.
South Pasadena police were searching alongside sheriff's deputies, using search dogs and a drone to try and find any clues in a two-mile area.
Lt. Joe Mendoza said at a news conference that the search was being conducted because investigators received a recent tip that was regarded as "credible," but he declined to be more specific.
The boy was last seen with his father the night of April 20 when the pair and two family members went to Disneyland, sheriff's investigators said.
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.
Andressian Sr. allegedly told investigators he had taken medication that was not prescribed to him on April 22, the day he and his son went to Arroyo Seco Park in South Pasadena before a custody exchange, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza said.
The father and son arrived waiting for the golf course to open, Mendoza said. The boy's father was later discovered unconscious at the park and the boy was nowhere to be found.
More bizarre details were released Wednesday, including that the car the father and son were traveling in was found with "gasoline in the interior and doused all over the exterior." There were also matches, a gas container, and a rag that had been doused with gasoline found in the area near the vehicle's gas cap.