Aramazd Andressian Sr. remained in custody following his arrest in Las Vegas on Friday and is expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles later this week, L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials said at a news conference.
County prosecutors and sheriff's investigators said there was evidence indicating the father of the 5-year-old South Pasadena boy who went missing more than two months ago planned to kill his son amid a tumultuous divorce from his wife.
Mug shot of Aramazd Andressian Sr., who was booked on murder charges for the death of his 5-year-old son.
Andressian's attorney, Daniel Nardoni, has said his client "is adamant that he never harmed his son Aramazd and is innocent of the charges".
The search for the boy has spanned several Southern California counties, including in the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area near Santa Barbara, where Andressian told authorities he took the boy the day after the Disneyland trip.
Investigators have been searching for Aramazd Jr., or "Ara", since his father was found passed out in a park in South Pasadena on April 22.
"It may seem unusual to file murder changes when we have not yet found the child's body", Lacey said, she noting that the DA's office has successfully prosecuted such cases before.
Investigators said they were concerned Andressian, who has been charged with murder, was about to flee to another country, authorities said Monday.
He told police he had taken prescription pills that belonged to someone else and did not know what had happened to his son.
Andressian Sr. was found later that morning, unconscious in a South Pasadena park.
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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide investigators coordinated the arrest with LA County Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau Fugitive Taskforce, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department CAPE (Major Violator/Narcotics Crimes Bureau), Homicide Section and the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce of the United States Marshals Service.
The elder Andressian has been uncooperative and has allegedly given false information to investigators since he was placed under suspicion, Mendoza said.
At a Monday news conference, authorities did not provide details about the father's activities in Las Vegas, but said surveillance of his behavior suggested it was "not consistent with a grieving parent".
"My heart is shattered and I will miss my son immensely each and every second of every day for the rest of my life", the boy's mother, Ana Estevez, said in a statement released by the sheriff's department. Sheriff's officials say the father took prescription pills and was in a vehicle doused in gasoline.
When he failed to meet with ex-wife Ana Estevez at their pre-arranged meeting place on April 22, the authorities were notified by the anxious mother.
The boy's mother reported him missing on April 22 after Andressian Sr. did not show up to exchange custody of the child.
"Piqui was everything great in my life and I can not imagine the emptiness and void that I will bear until we are together again some day", she said.
"I will continue to believe my son is alive until (he is) found", she said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.