The search for missing California college student Bryce Laspisa has hit a snag four days after the 19-year-old Laguna Niguel man disappeared.
Laspisa crashed his SUV in Castaic, northwest of Los Angeles, Friday, and authorities found his overturned vehicle that morning. He hasn’t been seen since.
Laspisa was driving Wednesday from Chico in Northern California to his home in Laguna Niguel in Orange County to break up with his girlfriend, according to some media reports; others said he was heading home to “blow off steam.” The 19-year-old college student didn’t tell his parents he was making the trip until later that night.
Laspisa’s mother, Karen Laspisa, said she last spoke to her son on Friday morning after talking the night before.
“He called me again at 2:08 a.m. [Friday] on my cell phone and said, ‘Mom, I pulled off the 5 [Freeway]. I’m going to sleep in my car,’” she told CBS Los Angeles.
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There have been no signs of the missing California college student since then, but authorities found Bryce Laspisa’s overturned 2003 Toyota Highlander Friday morning. His cell phone, wallet, and laptop were discovered inside the vehicle and the car’s rear window was broken with an emergency tool, according to CBS Los Angeles. Blood was also found inside the SUV.
The missing person’s investigation was handed over to homicide detectives, NBC Los Angeles reported. The 10-hour search was conducted Sunday by the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue Team, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
A Facebook page, Find Bryce Laspisa, was launched in hopes of finding him. The page, which posts search updates and media coverage, has been a big help to the efforts, Laspisa’s family said.
Karen Laspisa said she hoped authorities find her son soon, saying she’s hopeful Bryce will be found alive.
“We’ve had a media blitz today, so all we need now is the help from the detectives,” she told the Valley Signal on Monday.
It’s unclear whether Bryce broke up with his girlfriend, but she is helping in the search, according to his mother, who added that she also created the Facebook page.
“Through all of the social media, it has been overwhelming,” Karen Laspisa told KHTS. “My son’s girlfriend made a Facebook page, I've been on Facebook. I was inundated with emails from people. People are spreading the fliers and trying to help.”
Karen Laspisa told the Valley Signal that the girlfriend was going to bring Bryce’s gym shoes and dirty socks so dogs involved in the search can track the missing college student’s scent.
Bryce’s last known encounter was with a roadside assistance serviceman who helped him after running out of gas while on his way home.