SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A funeral was held Tuesday for a 5-year-old Southern California boy whose father is charged with killing him after a trip to Disneyland.
Dozens of police officers lined the steps as pallbearers carried the small white coffin of Aramazd Andressian Jr. into the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in the Los Angeles suburb.
His mother, Ana Estevez, wept as she carried the boy's hat into church, where it was placed on the casket.
She read a statement praising her son as vibrant, sweet and kind.
"Your sensitive nature melted many hearts, your analytical and curious mind amazed many, your imagination took us both away on new adventures, your kindness and generosity was unparalleled to any child, and your ability to love unconditionally proved that you truly are God's child," she said.
"I can't think of anything that is more tragic than an event like this," South Pasadena police Sgt. Matthew Ronnie told KABC-TV outside church before the service. "This has touched everybody in our police department. There's not one person who's unaffected by this."
The boy's father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, was found has pleaded not guilty to murder. He was brought back to Los Angeles early this month from Las Vegas, where he had been living for more than a month.
Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators have said they think the boy was killed early April 21 after a family trip to Disneyland. His body was found on June 30 near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County
Prosecutors contend that the boy's father killed him to get back at his estranged wife.
Andressian Sr. was found passed out in a South Pasadena park on April 22. He had taken prescription pills and was found in a car doused in gasoline in an apparent suicide attempt, sheriff's officials said.
Andressian told authorities that he drove that day about 145 miles (233 kilometers) to Lake Cachuma. The area was searched several times before the boy was discovered.
Authorities haven't disclosed how the boy was killed or what evidence links the boy's father to his death.