Some Santa Clarita Valley residents spent much of their Labor Day Sunday helping a Laguna Niguel couple search for their missing son after his crashed SUV was found at the bottom of a 15-foot ravine near Castaic Lake Main Boat Ramp early Friday morning.
Karen and Michael Laspisa have not heard from their 19-year-old son, Bryce, since shortly after 2 a.m. Friday when he told them he told them he was too tired to drive.
“He told me ‘I got off the I-5 and I’m in a suburban area. I’m going to sleep in my car,’” said Karen Laspisa.
Now her son is the subject of a missing person’s investigation pursued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
“We searched for 10 hours,” Sgt. Roger Wallace of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Parks Bureau said Sunday, referring to search by the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue Team.
Help continued Sunday, however. “I’ve been on social media talking to people who want to help,” Laspisa said. “People have been contacting me all day. People are offering to go and put up flyers.”
Details of her son’s actions prior to the crash, she said, remain a mystery despite constant cell phone communication, a GPS locator and help from a “good Samaritan.”
Shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday, Bryce left Sierra College in Rocklin north of Sacramento and began his drive to Laguna Niguel.
At 5:30 a.m. Friday, officers of the California Highway Patrol found his 2003 Toyota Highlander SUV on its side at the bottom of a 15-foot ravine on the Castaic Lake Main Boat Launch access road. The back window had been shattered.
What troubles Karen Laspisa most, she said, is that her son left his cell phone, laptop and wallet inside the vehicle.
“There was someblood but they don’t know if it’s Bryce’s,” she said, adding investigators are now examining it for clues.
She shared some “troubling” details she’s learned about her son’s roadtrip home.
On Wednesday at about 1:30 p.m., Bryce told his mother he was going to break up with his girlfriend with whom he “had been so in love” for the past five months, she said.
She also received information that Bryce had taken a pill — or pills — normally prescribed for children suffering from attention deficit disorder.
When she told him she was going to fly up to the college to see him, he reportedly said: “Mom, do not make any flight. I have a lot to talk to you about.’”
At 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, he ran out of gas and called roadside assistance from the Buttonwillow Rest Area west of Bakersfield, a fact confirmed by the credit card company.
The roadside serviceman, who delivered three gallons of gasoline, offered to check on Bryce at the mother’s request.
“He said Bryce looked OK but his eyes were a little red,” she said.
A second check by the serviceman revealed Bryce spent 10 hours near the rest area, ending up on Lagoon Drive, five miles away.
At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, he told her, “I’m just chilling. I’m going to hang with friends later,” she said.
Thirty minutes later, he bought a $1.71 beverage from a Shell gas station near Buttonwillow.
Friday at 2:08 a.m. was the last time he spoke to his mother.
Anyone with information should call Wallace at 661-272-2594.