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Father of missing South Pasadena boy released from jail as search continues near Santa Barbara

The father of a missing 5-year-old boy — who had been arrested in connection with his son’s disappearance — was released from jail Tuesday.

Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, had been held since Saturday on $10-million bail after being arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and child abduction.

But Andressian’s scheduled arraignment did not take place Tuesday and he was released from custody, according to his attorney, Rebecca D. Lizarraga. She said his case was dismissed because of insufficient evidence.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it made the decision, along with the South Pasadena Police Department, not to present the case to prosecutors for filing.

Meanwhile, the search for the boy moved Tuesday to a lake in Santa Barbara County.

Park rangers and deputies from the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara sheriff’s departments were searching the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area for any clues. Investigators had said they suspected the boy’s father visited the lake Friday before the child was reported missing, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“They are utilizing scent K-9s and a dive team in hopes of locating any witnesses or evidence leading to the whereabouts of the missing child,” the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said.

The investigation into the boy’s whereabouts began Saturday.

Andressian was supposed to drop off the boy to the child’s mother in San Marino, but he never showed, South Pasadena police Chief Art Miller said.

The mother notified police and gave them a description of her estranged husband’s vehicle, a 2004 gray BMW. Officers discovered the car had been impounded Saturday morning in South Pasadena.

The mother told investigators she had handed her son off to his father about 8 a.m. April 15 in Baldwin Park, authorities said. She last saw her son Thursday during a Skype video conversation, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The couple are in the process of getting a divorce but share custody of their child, Miller said.

Andressian was found alone and unconscious about 6:30 a.m. outside his car in South Pasadena’s Arroyo Park, and he was rushed to the hospital. Authorities searched the park for the boy, but he was not found.

Miller said there’s no evidence suggesting the boy’s father was attacked, and investigators don’t know why he was unconscious.

When police interviewed the father, Miller said, “his story was all over the place.”

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Chris Bergner said Andressian had given “convoluted and not consistent” statements.

Unable to get any clear answers about the boy’s whereabouts, South Pasadena police arrested Andressian late Saturday on suspicion of child endangerment and child abduction, authorities said. His bail was set at $10 million.

The boy, Aramazd Andressian Jr., is 3 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 55 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, as well as a small mole on his right shoulder, authorities said. He was last seen wearing a turquoise shirt and plaid shorts.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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UPDATES:

4:45 p.m.: This article was updated with confirmation that Aramazd Andressian Sr. was released from custody.

This article was originally published at 12:05 p.m.

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