Bryce Laspisa – Vanished into Thin Air

Bryce Laspisa

➢Born April 30, 1994 in Springfield, IL to Karen and Michael Laspisa

➢An only child

➢Was said to be charming a made friends easily

➢Grew up just outside of Chicago

➢Graduated from Naperville Central High School

➢After graduating, his parents who had just retired, decided to move to CA

➢They ended up in Laguna Niguel, Orange County

Sierra College

Like I mentioned, Bryce had just graduated high school when they made they move, so it wasn’t long before he was picking a college. He settled on Sierra College, a community college about 7 hours away from where his parents would be.

I’ve heard some people speculate that this case begins with where he chose to go to college using the thought process of why would he choose a community college 7 hours away from his parents that just moved him basically across the country? People have said if he wanted a community college there were closer options and why move cross country with your parents just to then move 7 hours away and not be going somewhere friends from high school were. I see where they’re going with that, but I personally don’t think it’s relevant. It sounds to me like he had a pretty good relationship with his parents and probably wanted to be close enough that he could drive home every now and again, but not so close that they could just randomly pop in, ya know?

Freshman Year

➢He is studying graphic and industrial design

➢Freshman year went well

○Good grades

○Became good friends with his roommate, Sean Dixon

○Started dating a girl he met at school, Kim Sly

➢During summer break he was happy and told everyone (parents, friends, girlfriend) that he was excited to start Sophomore year

Sophomore Year

➢Bryce went back to campus 2 weeks before classes were set to start back up

➢By all accounts he was still “fresh and eager”

Bryce even talked to his mom on the first day of classes and sounded totally normal to her

➢Classes started and he had a great first day – everything was perfectly ordinary

Until it Wasn’t

Bryce Begins to Unravel

➢It wasn’t long before Sean and Kim started to become concerned about Bryce

➢They were noticing subtle changes in his behavior




➢Kim was worried this could be due to the fact that Bryce was taking a prescription medication called VyVanse

○We’ll talk more about this in a sec

➢Sean also said that Bryce had started drinking hard liquor every day

○As much as two fifths in a single weekend


➢An amphetamine derivative used to treat ADHD

➢It may help to increase the ability to pay attention, stay focused, and stop fidgeting

➢Severe side effects




➢You shouldn’t drink while on VyVanse because they do opposite things – without getting too science-y VyVanse is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant

Bryce was never prescribed VyVanse

Things Get Weird

➢Over those first few weeks of school, Bryce was quickly increasing the amount of VyVanse he was taking

➢My guess is this had to do with the interaction between the drug and alcohol that we talked about – he wanted the results of both and probably didn’t understand that the two contradict one another and it would just continue to get worse (see note)

➢The once outgoing, well liked, friendly guy was starting to distance himself from everyone

➢On August 27 or 28, 2013, he broke up with Kim over text

○He said she’d be “better off” without him

➢He also texted Sean saying “I love you bro, seriously. You are the best person I’ve ever met. You saved my soul.”

➢Also on the 27 or 28, he gave Sean his Xbox and gave away a pair of diamond earrings that his mother had given him

➢Of course, these things sound pretty concerning to us, but they were all separate incidents and while Kim and Sean were obviously worried about him, they didn’t think much of these actions at the time

Sean and Kim call Karen

➢On the 28th, Sean called Karen (Bryce’s mom) because he was getting really worried about Bryce


➢Later that same night, Bryce called his mom

○He said he was at Kim’s place (not sure why he was there if he’d already broken up with her) and she wouldn’t give him his keys to drive back to his place

○Kim said that she didn’t think he was in good condition to drive

○Bryce told his mom that she was just upset he had broken up with her and that he was fine

○He sounded normal and not like he was compromised in any way, so Karen told Kim to go ahead and give him his keys so he could go home

Bryce Goes Home?

Karen then offered to fly up to check on him, but he said not to come until after they talked the next day as he had “a lot to talk to you about.”

He then left Kim’s apartment at 11:30pm.

Bryce called his mom again at 1am, now August 29,  an hour and a half after he had left Kim’s. Like I mentioned before, her place was 90 miles from his, so his mom figured he was home and was calling from there to let her know he had made it home safely. She didn’t actually talk to him though as she missed the call.

What she didn’t know at the time was that he wasn’t home at all. In fact, his phone pinged about an hour south of Rocklin, where Sierra college is.

Roadside Assistance

➢At 11am the Laspisas got a notification that their insurance roadside assistance had been used by their 2003 Toyota Highlander – Bryce’s car

➢They called Bryce to make sure everything was ok, assuming he had maybe had some car trouble on the way back to his place from Kim’s

➢He wasn’t answering them, but they were able to get ahold of Sean who said he hadn’t come home the night before

➢They were able to get in contact with the repair shop that had responded to the roadside assistance request and spoke with the owner, Christian

➢The repair shop was in Buttonwillow, CA, 350 miles south of Kim’s place

➢Christian said he had delivered 3 gallons of gas to Bryce after he ran out of fuel around 9am

➢This was the last anyone had seen Bryce, so Karen didn’t know what to do

➢Christian offered to go check the spot where he had left him

So Christian goes to check out the place where he had left Christian hours earlier and saw the last thing he was expecting. Bryce was still in the exact spot he had left him.


➢Christian approached the car and Bryce seemed surprised to see him

➢He was even more surprised when Christian gave him a phone with his mom on the other end

➢He took the phone and Karen was rightfully concerned

○He didn’t have an answer when she asked what she was doing

○His voice was clear and he didn’t sound intoxicated

○Christian said he appeared fine

➢They agreed he would drive the last 3 hours home and Christian saw him drive off

Bryce Still Doesn’t Show Up

➢Hours later, Bryce still hasn’t shown up and it’s reached the point where the Laspisas decide to file a missing persons report

➢The Orange County Sheriff’s Dept are able to track his cell phone and 2 officers find him just a few miles from where Christian had watched him drive away

➢He told them he was just trying to blow off some steam before heading home

➢The officers reported that he seemed lucid and friendly, showed no signs of intoxication, and there weren’t any drugs or alcohol found in his vehicle

Bryce has a large tattoo on his left shoulder which could help identify him

Bryce has a large tattoo on his left shoulder which could help identify him (Source:

Bryce leaves Buttonwillow

➢The officers told Bryce that his parents were worried about him

➢They said he seemed hesitant to call them and ended up having to dial for him

➢Karen then told him he needed to come home

➢Christian and Karen talk again

➢He ended up following Bryce on the freeway for a few miles to make sure he wasn’t doing the same thing as before and after about 30 minutes, when it seemed he was really on his way, Christian turned back

August 30

➢Now we’ve made it to 2am on August 30

➢Bryce calls his mom one last time to let her know that he’s too tired to drive and is going to pull of the road to sleep

➢Knowing that he’s been up for quite a while now, she agrees and says she’ll see him in the morning

➢6 hours later the Laspisas doorbell rang… but it wasn’t Bryce

➢It was a CA highway patrol officer who told them that their 2003 Toyota Highlander had been found abandoned near Castaic Lake (2 hours north of Laguna Niguel)

What They Found

➢The rear window had been shattered

➢His phone, laptop, and other major belongings were found inside, but no sign of Bryce

➢An open duffel bag of clothes with his wallet were on the ground a couple feet away from the car

➢The car had careened off a 25 foot embankment before crashing into the road

➢No blood or signs of injury

➢According to a security camera, at 2:15 just minutes after talking to his parents, he’d turned onto an access road which went up a hill towards the Castaic Lake Recreation Area

➢Here’s where it gets really weird

➢2 hours later, he was seen on the same security camera driving in the same direction

➢It was less than an hour later that his car was found

➢Police found that the accelerator had been held down the entire time, so it’s looking like it was on purpose

➢They also found that the glass had been broken from the inside

➢Only small signs of blood on the driver’s seat and no signs on the ground that Bryce had been hurt

Where did Bryce Go?

➢There was an extensive search done using ground, water, and aerial crews

➢Dogs were also brought in and traced his scent to a place called Government Cove, but divers found no sign of him

➢On day 9 of the search, bloodhounds were able to trace his scent to a truck stop, but the trail seems to end there

➢The search was officially called off after 3 weeks



○Where would he have gone? No signs of his body

○Suicidal ideations before disappearing

○Psychotic break from VyVanse?

➢Living a different life

○This makes sense with the truck stop

○There have been many suspected sightings of him, but none confirmed

○He has a pretty distinctive look

➢Foul Play

○Did he get out of the car fine and then have something bad happen to him afterward?

○Is everything we know wrong?

○What did he want to tell his mom about???

In 2015, the Laspisas conducted their own search of Castaic Lake with the help of professional investigators. Karen later told the Chicago Tribune, “We hired a sonar boat that searched for two days and did not find any human remains. Our private investigator had a drone operator searching the area north of the boat launch access road. Nothing was found.”

Detective Robert Martindale of the LAPD was the lead investigator on Bryce Laspisa’s case, and he believed that the teen decided to walk away from his life.

Bryce Laspisa

Bryce Laspisa Age Progressed Photo (Source:



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