The possibility that missing Laguna Niguel, Calif., college student Bryce Laspisa will be found alive despite disappearing more than a month ago gained a glimmer of hope as authorities are now extending their search to Oregon following two possible sightings there of the 19-year-old.
Laspisa disappeared Aug. 30 on his way from Sierra College in Northern California to visit his family in Laguna Niguel in Orange County. His last contact with his family was when he called his mother around 5:30 a.m. that day to tell her he was going to sleep by the side of the road. Hours later, his overturned 2003 Toyota Highlander was found near Castaic Lake in northern Los Angeles County.
Investigators mostly centered their search around that area since Laspisa went missing, but the search has been extended to southern Oregon amid possible sightings of the Laguna Niguel college student. Authorities are particularly honing in on Port Orford, on the coast, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“There’s been a lot of interest from people in Port Orford,” Brian David, Laspisa’s uncle, told the television station.
But David said other sightings proved not to be Laspisa.
“We get the word of a possible sighting and you know, it brings you way up and then you find out, oh it’s not Bryce, and it brings you way down,” he said.
During a vigil held for Laspisa on Monday, his mother spoke as if she was still hopeful that he would be found alive.
“We just hope somebody can find him somewhere out there and he can come home to us,” she said.
If Laspisa is not dead, authorities worry that he might have suffered head trauma when his car overturned and he may be confused.
Volunteers, including Laspisa’s girlfriend, have conducted searches for the missing student since his disappearance more than a month ago. A Facebook page, Find Bryce Laspisa, was also created in hopes of finding him.
According to a post from David on the Facebook page from Tuesday afternoon, a police officer in Port Orford said he saw Laspisa Monday “but was unaware he was a ‘missing person.’” The post said the officer was on his way to search homeless camps.
“He is pretty sure it was Bryce that he saw,” the post continued. “Praying for good news!”