Firefighters responding to a brush fire in Castaic Lake CA yesterday found a burning man instead. But whether it's Bryce Laspisa, missing in that same area since last week, is still unknown because the body was torched beyond recognition.
The 19-year-old college student last spoke with his mother via a cellphone call that was made in the vicinity of Castaic Lake. He told her he was tired of driving and intended to pull over someplace to sleep before resuming his journey homeward.
And that was the last time anybody heard from him.
Police have been searching the region ever since a Castaic parks visitor discovered the SUV Bryce Laspisa was driving that night overturned in a ravine close to the lakefront.
Laspisa's wallet, phone and other belongings were untouched inside, investigators said, but there was a busted out window and blood throughout the vehicle, presumably his.
Yesterday this mystery deepened considerably with the finding of a burning man only a few miles from the missing teen's last known location. His parents are anxiously awaiting for a formal ID of that victim now, but say the coroner should already know whether or not it's their son because he always wears a retainer on his bottom teeth.
In the interim police have vowed to continue the quest to find Bryce Laspisa, although the trail has long grown cold, they claim.
Adding yet another twist to an already twisted case is their admission that patrol officers, at the behest of his mother, encountered and questioned Laspisa just a few short hours before he vanished...
Bryce Laspisa is a Caucasian male about 5-feet 10-inches tall and 160 pounds. He has blue eyes and short-cropped red hair and was reportedly dressed in summer clothing when he disappeared.
Anyone with any information about this missing persons case or that of the burning man's is asked to call homicide investigators at 323-890-5500.