Authorities on Thursday are searching a South Pasadena park where the father of a 5-year-old boy who has been missing since last month was found unconscious, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Roughly 80 sheriff’s deputies and South Pasadena police officers are participating in the search of Arroyo Park and surrounding areas, authorities said. Sheriff’s homicide investigators are using cadaver dogs to search for additional evidence related to the disappearance of Aramazd Andressian Jr.
The park has been closed since 4 a.m., according to the South Pasadena Police Department.
On Wednesday, Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza told reporters that a “recent tip” led investigators back to the park, which was searched extensively the weekend the boy went missing.
Authorities declined to provide details about the tip or where it came from. Investigators planned to cover approximately two miles of brush near the park and the nearby Arroyo Seco Golf Course, Mendoza said.
The search included deputies on horseback, drones and dogs. Mendoza said that although many resources were used in the first search of the park, “now that some time has gone by, maybe there’s different scents that are available.”
The boy’s father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, was found unconscious in the park at 6:30 a.m. April 22. He did not have the child, and authorities said he had taken prescription drugs that were not his.
Mendoza said the father was a “person of interest” in the case. It is unknown if others are involved, but Mendoza said investigators were keeping an open mind.
The father has given “inconsistent” and “misleading” statements to authorities, Mendoza said. He was briefly held on charges of child endangerment and child abduction, then released because of insufficient evidence. He has hired a lawyer and refused to speak with investigators, giving only a written statement provided by his attorney.
The boy was last seen alive at about 1 a.m. April 21 after leaving Disneyland with his father and other relatives, authorities said. Investigators also believe the elder Andressian visited the Cachuma Lake Recreation area with the boy before he was reported missing, but there were no confirmed sightings of the child.
Andressian was found the next day unconscious, with abrasions to his arms and a cut on his head. His gray BMW had been doused with gasoline. Investigators are trying to determine whether the injuries were self-inflicted.
“He’s been deceitful since the very beginning,” said Sheriff’s Det. Louie Aguilera, the lead investigator on the case, adding that fire personnel who responded to Arroyo park that morning said the father was “deliberately unresponsive.”
The child’s mother addressed the media for the first time on Wednesday.
“My son’s disappearance is my worst nightmare,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
8:50 a.m. This story was updated with additional information from Lt. Mendoza.
This story was originally published at 6 a.m.