By MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press
Prosecutors contend Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, killed his son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., to get back at his estranged wife. Investigators have refused to say how the boy was killed or what evidence linked the father to the boy’s death.
The boy’s mother, Ana Estevez, was loudly weeping in the front row of the courtroom as she held the urn with her son’s ashes. She was surrounded by family members — all holding hands and sobbing.
Andressian Sr. entered the plea to first-degree murder in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Alhambra. He previously pleaded not guilty to a murder charge and was being held on $10 million bail.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators have said they believe the boy was killed April 21 after a family trip to Disneyland. The next day, his father was found passed out in a park and police began searching for the boy.
Andressian had taken prescription pills and was found in a car doused in gasoline in an apparent suicide attempt, sheriff’s officials have said.
The boy’s body was found on June 30 near Lake Cachuma outside Santa Barbara — about 145 miles (233 kilometers) away from Anaheim, where Disneyland is located.
Andressian told investigators that he drove to the lake the day his son was killed. Investigators had searched the lake several times before the boy’s remains were discovered but have not said what led them to the body.
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