SOUTH PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A woman who did not want to be identified told CBS2’s Kristine Lazar that she is certain she saw a missing 5-year-old boy near a lake near Santa Barbara with his father last Friday.
Aramazd Andressian Jr. was reported missing Saturday.
The boy’s father has been released from jail.
His father was found passed out Saturday near his car. Aramazd Andressian Sr. has confounded authorities by saying he has no idea where the boy is.
“And I opened up my computer,” the woman said, “and I just started bawling. Once I saw Cachuma Lake, it hit me. I knew exactly where I saw him.”
The local mother even had trouble talking about her encounter.
“I have goosebumps just talking about it,” she said.
The woman believes she is one of the last people to see the little boy before he was declared missing.
“It was between 11:30 [a.m.] and 2 o’clock [p.m.]” she said, “for sure. I saw the gray BMW, I was by myself.”
She is sure she made eye contact with the boy’s father.
“He drove around again, and I made eye contact with him,” she says. “The little boy was watching my son play with his Marvel Avengers toys.”
She thought the father appeared to be crying and/or had been drinking. She said the boy was sitting in the front seat.
“When he was driving by,” she said, “he was kind of swerving on the grass. I thought maybe he had a couple of drinks in him.”
She said the man stopped at a trash bin for about a minute before driving off.
The woman said she thought of alerting a ranger but didn’t think much of the encounter until she saw photos of the man and his son all over the news Sunday.
“My guts told me something wasn’t right,” she says, “and I didn’t listen. And now I’m wishing I could just go back to that day.”
Meanwhile, Adressian’s attorney defended his client repeating his claim that he has no idea what happened to the boy.
He provided the media with new photos of the boy and himself in happier times.
“The first thing he asked me,” said the attorney, “was do you know anything about my son? Do you know where he’s at? Have they found him?”
Andressian was released from jail Tuesday. Officials said they didn’t have enough evidence to hold him.
“We’re being optimistic that [the boy’s] with somebody,” said Lt. Joe Mendoza of the LA County Sheriff’s Department. “And we’re being optimistic that we’re going to find him and bring him back to his mother.”