On August 30th, 2013, the Orange County Sheriff department contact the parents of 19-year-old Bryce Laspisa, Michael and Karen Laspisa. Officers tell the parents that their son’s 2003 Toyota Highlander flipped over at 5:30 am at the Castaic Lake recreation area, a remote desert park in northwestern Los Angeles County. The crash was near the main boat access road and found at the bottom of a 25-foot embankment. Bryce’s body was not inside the vehicle and detectives surmise that this was not a fatal crash and could see no signs of serious injury.
They located broken glass from the vehicle outside, meaning that Laspisa had escaped the crash. Laspisa’s duffle bag, wallet, laptop and phone were still inside the vehicle. Bryce Laspisa has been missing since that August morning.
Bryce Laspisa was born Rocklin, California and raised in Illinois by his two loving parents. Born on April 30th, 1994, Bryce was one year out of graduating form Naperville Central High School and living with his parents in Laguna Niguel, California. Being a talented artist with an eye for industrial design, Bryce already an impressive portfolio. He was attending Sierra College in Rocklin, California, which is 7 hours from his parents, pursuing his art degree. Bryce was returning home to Niguel California the day he went missing.
Bryce’s girlfriend Kim Sly lives in Chico, 2 hours from his Rocklin apartment and two days before his disappearance he was spending time at her apartment. Kim noticing that Bryce has been acting strange and called him mother. She also attempted to take away his keys because she thought he wasn’t well enough to drive. “I told Bryce to let me fly up there,” Karen said. Bryce responded, “No, don’t make an airline reservation until I talk to you because I have a lot to talk to you about.” Kim wasn’t the only one to notice Bryce’s new behavior change. He began taking ADHD medication and staying up all night playing video games. Something was definetly bothering the teenager. Karen asked Kim to return her son’s keys becaue he was heading home to Rocklin; this was 11:30pm on August, 28th. Karen next talked to his son around 1pm on August 29 and assumed Bryce was at his apartment, but he wasn’t. A cell phone trace located Bryce on that call as he was passing his school in Rocklin and headed southeast toward the Castaic Mountains over 300 miles away.
On August 30th, hours be Bryce car was found his parents received several messages from their auto insurance company informing them they were sending roadside assistance as he let his car run out of gas. A credit card charge appeared from Buttonwillow, California which runs along interstate 5. Another charge comes through from Castro Tire and Truck Repair who’s owner was delivering Bryce 3 gallons of gasoline. At the shop Bryce talked to his mother on the phone claiming that nothing was wrong and he was stopping at a gas station before driving to Laguna Niguel to see them. At 6pm Bryce’s mother has heard nothing of her son’s whereabouts and contacted the Orange County Sheriff to check on him. After pinging Bryce’s cell phone they located him on Interstate 5. The officer believing Bryce may be under the influence conducted a field sobriety test which Bryce passed. His mother called once more at 2:09am and Bryce told her that he was pulling over to sleep. This was the last conversation she had with her son.
The Sheriff’s Department conducted a through search in through the area surrounding Bryce’s wrecked car. Divers searched the nearby waters, helicopters searched from above and, search dogs and officers on horseback searched the surrounding terrain. Hundreds of volunteers participated in the search for the missing teen, but was no sign of Bryce Lapisa. During the search on September 4, 2013 police were dispatched to a wooded location off Lake Hughes Road spotted a burning body, but the autospy proved not to be his.
Bryce is still missing and many people, including family members, remain hopefully that he is still alive. Thousands of flyers have been sent to various homeless shelters hoping that someone will soon spot Bryce Laspisa.