A father has admitted killing his five-year-old son after a trip to Disneyland, a California court was told on Tuesday (1 August).

Aramazd Andressian Sr pleaded guilty to first degree murder following the death of the boy after a trip to the popular theme park.

Appearing in front of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in suburban Alhambra, Andressian had his hands shackled at the waist and replied "Yes" when a prosecutor asked him if he had wilfully killed his son.

According to investigators, Andressian's actions were triggered by his desire to get back at his estranged wife.

The 35-year-old, who had taken prescription pills, was found passed out in a car park on 22 April, doused in petrol in what looked to be a failed suicide attempt. His discovery sparked a frantic two-month search for the boy, who investigators believe was killed the previous day.

The court heard the body of the victim was found in Lake Cachuma outside Santa Barbara, approximately 145 miles away from Anaheim, where Disneyland is situated.

Andressian told the court that he had driven to the lake with his son the day he was killed and investigators had searched the lake numerous times before identifying the kid's remains on 30 June.

"This is a tragedy," said Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum.

"Cases like this really tug at your heartstrings."

However, while prosecutors described the evidence as overwhelming, they declined to state how Andressian's son died.

Ambrosio Rodriguez, the defender's attorney, said his client, who will be sentenced on 23 August, had pleaded guilty partly to avoid the prospect of prospect of the prosecutors adding an additional charge which could have resulted in the death penalty.

"He is beyond words, in regretting having committed such an act," he said.

Andressian faces between 25 years to life in prison.