The search continues for missing Laguna Niguel, Calif., college student Bryce Laspisa after the Los Angeles County coroner announced Wednesday that a burning body found near where the 19-year-old went missing is not Laspisa’s.
The body has been identified as that of 35-year-old Lamondre Deon Miles of South Los Angeles, who authorities say was killed in a dispute over money. Miles’ body was found last week near Castaic Lake, around the area where Laspisa went missing on Aug. 30.
Laspisa disappeared 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.
As Laspisa’s family worries about his whereabouts, they’ve also been the victims of a crime. Laspisa’s father had his car broken into as he aided the search for his missing son.
“It’s tragic,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Dubin told the Los Angeles Times. “I can’t imagine having a missing child, and, on top of that, have your vehicle broken into.”
Mauricio Eufrasia, 27, and 18-year-old Mark Tello, both of Los Angeles were arrested in the burglary, KHTS reported.
Laspisa, who is listed as a critical missing person, was described as being 5-foot-11 and weighing 170 pounds with red hair, blue eyes and a tattoo of a Taurus bullhead with a Roman numeral on his left shoulder.
Three people – Luis Amezcua, 22, his sister Joanna Amezcua, 23, and Javier Vega – were arrested Friday on suspicion of killing Miles, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker told NBC Los Angeles on Thursday. The Amezcuas were charged Tuesday with murder, while Vega, Joanna Amezcua’s boyfriend, was charged with arson and accessory to murder.
Authorities believe Miles was killed around 2 p.m. Sept. 2, when the suspects shot him several times as they were riding in a car together in Hawthorne. His burning body was found the next day riddled with bullets. The sheriff’s department believes Miles was killed for failing to pay a debt.
A cousin of Miles, Karen Lewis, told KABC that the family was devastated after learning his body was identified.
"This is absolutely one of the worst days of our lives," she said. "To find out and learn the details of how this happened, how he was killed like he was an animal, makes no sense to us."