LAS VEGAS – During an extradition hearing in Las Vegas Tuesday morning, Aramazd Andressian Sr. – the California father suspected of killing his missing 5-year-old son – laughed, smiled and even tried to crack a joke with the judge, video from the courtroom showed.
Andressian Sr., of South Pasadena, waived his right to fight extradition back to California at the hearing, which was held one day after Los Angeles County officials announced a “no-body murder charge” had been filed in the case, according to KTLA.
It is unclear when Andressian Sr. will be extradited back to the state, but authorities said Monday an arraignment could take place later this week.
The 35-year-old suspect was arrested last Friday, June 23, on suspicion of murder, about two months after Aramazd Andressian Jr. was reported missing by his mother when her ex-husband failed to show up with their son for a planned custody exchange on April 22.
The child was last seen with his father leaving Disneyland around 1 a.m. April 21; investigators believe Andressian Jr. was killed during a 6 1/2 hour period after the pair left the Anaheim theme park, and before Andressian Sr. showed up at Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County by himself later that morning, according to authorities.
The boy's body has not yet been found.
Investigators believe the killing "was a pre-planned event," and the motive was "tumultuous divorce" proceedings with the boy's mother, according to L.A. County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza.
Authorities said that while investigators searched for the missing child, the suspect was "socializing in Vegas," and not doing any of the things the child's mother was doing, such as posting fliers, Mendoza said.
“He was taking part in activities and displaying mannerisms that were not consistent with a grieving parent," the lieutenant said.
The father also tried to change his appearance, including shaving his beard and coloring his hair. He may have been planning to flee the country to a place where he wouldn't face extradition, Mendoza added.
Andressian Sr. was taken into custody in Las Vegas after being deemed a "flight risk," Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
During Tuesday's hearing, Andressian Sr. denied he intended to flee.
He was being held on $10 million at the Clark County Detention Center as he awaited extradition back to L.A.