The mother of a California 5-year-old who’s been missing for nearly a month delivered an impassioned plea this week for the public’s help in locating her son, who she believes is still alive.
Ana Estevez addressed reporters on Wednesday, telling them the disappearance Aramazd Andressian Jr. has rattled her to her core.
“There are no words to describe how devastated and heartbroken I am,” Estevez said through tears, before speaking directly to Aramazd. “To my son, this message is for you my love: Be brave, honey. Don’t ever forget that mama loves you to the moon and the stars. I am counting the days until I see you honey, and I will never stop looking for you.”
Estevez said she’s sure her son is still alive.
“To those who are concealing my son, I pray every day that God will touch your heart and guide you to do the right thing and return my son,” she said.
Authorities say Aramazd was last seen on April 20, when he and his father visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California. They left the theme park around midnight.
Within a week of the boy’s disappearance, police arrested his dad, 35-year-old Aramazd Andressian Sr., on suspicion of one count of child endangerment and one count of child abduction. But they released him days later, citing “insufficient evidence.”
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Aramazd was supposed to be dropped off by his father in San Marino, California, on April 22, but the elder Andressian failed to show. Instead, police found him passed out near his car in a nearby park.
Official confirm that he and Estevez are embroiled in a bitter divorce, but they shared custody of their son.
Aramazd is approximately 3-feet-5-inches tall and weighs 55 lbs, according to police. He was last seen wearing a turquoise shirt and plaid shorts or a gray-and-white-striped shirt with gray sweatpants. He has a mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.
Police: Missing Boy’s Father Gave ‘Misleading’ Statements
This week, authorities released new details about Aramazd’s dad, telling reporters on Wednesday that Andressian had allegedly admitted to taking over-the-counter drugs that had not been prescribed to him.
Additionally, detectives alleged that the inside of his car was doused with gasoline and there were matches in his vehicle.
Police are not saying whether they believe Andressian may have been acting suicidal on April 21 — the day before his son was to be dropped off — but they said there is no evidence to suggest he was about to set the vehicle on fire.
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.
Andressian’s attorney did not immediately return a message Thursday about this new information. But Andressian previously explained himself in a statement provided to PEOPLE last month.
“The last time I saw my son was on , at Arroyo Park near my home in South Pasadena,” he said. “After breakfast, Aramazd Jr. wanted to go to the park before we were to meet his mother for a custody exchange at 9:00 a.m.”
“In one moment, I was at the park with my son, and then I found myself waking up in Huntington Memorial Hospital hours later,” he continued. “I was told that a good Samaritan found me unconscious on the ground near my car, with young Aramazd nowhere in sight. I can only speculate that I must have been attacked in the park, given my unresponsive state and subsequent physical condition.”
Andressian’s statement concluded: “My family and I are heartbroken and grief-stricken that Aramazd Jr. is missing and may be in harm’s way. I am pleading with the public to come forward with any knowledge of Aramazd Jr.’s whereabouts or information regarding the circumstances leading up to his disappearance.”
Anyone with tips on the ongoing case can call the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500 or police in South Pasadena, California, at 626-403-7297.
A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the boy’s safe return.