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Home » Santa Clarita News » Sheriff’s Deputies Continue Search For Missing O.C. Teen
Sheriff's Deputies Continue Search For Missing O.C. Teen

Sheriff’s Deputies Continue Search For Missing O.C. Teen

POSTED 2013-09-09 13:26:09 -0700
Deputies are still searching the Castaic Lake area for the body of a Laguna Niguel teen who was reported missing last week.

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Bryce Laspisa, 19, was apparently on his way home from college, when his car ran out of gas and he then apparently lost his way.

Deputies with the Sheriff’s Department have been searching for the last seven days, said Johnie Jones, spokesman for the Parks Bureau.

“They’ve been searching different areas, they’ve been searching by horseback,” Jones said. “We have all-terrain vehicles — we’re searching everywhere we can. We’re trying to search the whole area and leave no stone unturned, so to speak.”Missing O.C. teen Bryce Laspisa

Approximately one-half mile of underwater shoreline, down to a depth of 80 feet has now been searched by divers, he said.

“(Bryce Laspisa) had been in Chico at 11:30 p.m. (last) Wednesday night, and we assumed he  went back to his apartment at 1 a.m.,” said Karen David Laspisa, Bryce’s mother. “He said he went up there to breakup with his girlfriend.”

A burning body was found near Lake Hughes Road in Castaic on Thursday, however, Sheriff’s Department officials have not released whether the discovery was related to the missing teen. 

His 2003 Toyota Highlander was found overturned on the Castaic Lake Main Boat Launch access road early Friday morning.

Laspisa is 5’11” tall, 170 pounds, red hair, blue eyes, and has a tattoo of Taurus bullhead with Roman numeral on left shoulder. He was last seen wearing white cargo shots, blue/white checkered shirt, white and red Nike shoes. He is listed as a Critical Missing Person nationwide.

Bryce Laspisa lives in Roseville, Placer County (in Northern California), where he attends college.

He began driving down from Chico to his parents home in Laguna Niguel, but ran out of gas near Buttonwillow on Thursday. He called roadside assistance and they brought him gas, she said.

Upon Karen Laspisa’s request, “The roadside assistance serviceman went back to the rest area hours later to see if Bryce was still there. He was still at the same place where roadside assistance left him.”

“He took detour at 2:08 a.m. and got off the I-5 in a suburban area and was going to sleep in his car,” said Karen Laspisa. “I told him to call me when he got up the next morning.”

Bryce never called.

Because of this and other newly obtained information, at 11:30 AM, Friday, Sheriff’s Parks patrol deputies coordinated an extensive search of Castaic Lake, surrounding mountains, and the Town of Castaic for Bryce Laspisa.

Joining Sheriff’s Parks patrol deputies in the search throughout and day and night were Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies, the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue team, Sheriff’s search/ scent K-9 dogs, and Sheriff’s patrol helicopter.

“I woke up to the doorbell at 8 a.m. It was a California Highway Patrol officer who said he was dispatched from up north. He asked if our car was stolen, and we said, ‘No our son was supposed to be home with it.’  The officer said, ‘We found the car but did not find him. An officer will be in touch with you,’” Karen Laspisa said.

The crash had to happen between 4:20 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. when law enforcement arrived for a training exercise, she said.

“Sgt. Wallace called and said the vehicle had crashed and was on its side. It had gone down a 15-foot ravine,” she said. “It went nose first and landed on the passenger side. Bryce has used an emergency tool to break the back window.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Parks Bureau believes Search and Rescue options are exhausted, she said.

Friday, emergency personnel used helicopters, airplanes, boats, walking teams of the immediate grounds, two dog team searches of the immediate grounds and divers at the boat launch dock.

Saturday, emergency personnel did an early morning lake walk and another dive at a different location.

“They found his cellphone, wallet with all of his credit cards, laptop and all of his clothing in the car,” she said.

At this time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have dropped the case down to an “informal search” status.

“All we knew on Friday was that the local hospitals were notified,” Karen Laspisa said. The case has been transferred to the Long Beach Homicide Unit.

“Through all of the social media, it has been overwhelming,” said Karen Laspisa. “My son’s girlfriend made a Facebook page, I’ve been on Facebook.  I was inundated with emails from people. People are spreading the flyers and trying to help.”

If you have any information on Laspisa’s whereabouts, please contact Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station’s Sergeant Wallace 661-272-2594 or California Highway Patrol Sergeant Reyes 661-294-5540.

Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at

Source: Santa Clarita News

Sheriff’s Deputies Continue Search For Missing O.C. Teen

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About Perry Smith

Perry Smith is a print and broadcast journalist who has won several awards for his focused, hyperlocal community coverage in several different regions of the country. In addition to five years of experience covering the Santa Clarita Valley, Smith, a San Fernando Valley native, has worked in newspapers and news websites in Los Angeles, the Northwest, the Central Valley and the South, before coming to KHTS in 2012. To contact Smith, email him at
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