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Vigil held in Castaic for missing teen

Posted: October 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Karen and Michael Laspisa (right), parents of missing teen Bryce Laspisa, join more than 50 supporters at Castaic Lake for a candlelight vigil on Monday. Photo by Charlie Kaijo.

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A crowd of about 50 people arrived at the lower end of Castaic Lake on Monday to pray for the safe return of Bryce Laspisa who went missing on Aug. 30 when sheriff’s deputies found his crashed SUV at the bottom of a 15-foot ravine near Castaic Lake Main Boat Ramp. 

“We hope we’d never get to a 30 day mark and that we would find our son, but when we didn’t, they thought it was a good idea to bring people together for hope and prayer,” said Karen Laspisa, Bryce’s mother.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Aug. 28, the young man left Sierra College in Rocklin north of Sacramento and began his drive to Laguna Niguel where his parents live.

At 5:30 a.m. Aug. 30, officers of the California Highway Patrol found his 2003 Toyota Highlander SUV on its side at the bottom of a 15-foot ravine, the back window shattered.

The first week of the search involved Los Angeles County Sheriff’s divers, motorcycle officers, helicopter pilots and dog-handlers scouring in and around Castaic Lake.

“My brother and I did many searches through the canyon, trails and through the lake,” said Mike Laspisa, Bryce’s father. “The volunteers and team Amber Rescue came, and they organized many searches on the other side of the lake.”

And while expectation rose that the Sept. 4 discovery of a man’s body found burning near Castaic Lake might be that of Bryce Laspisa, homicide detectives ruled that out Sept. 11 once they identified the burn victim.

“We can’t really tell you what the impact is because we live it every day, and it never goes away, and it’s a rollercoaster when there’s a new lead, and then there’s nothing,” said Mike Laspisa.

Volunteers who helped the Laspisa family search from the first day, remained committed to the search that led them as far away as San Fernando Valley with tips of Laspisa sightings from as far away as Oregon.

“They learned about the crash and our missing son, and they have just been supportive this entire time of looking for him, praying for him, and supporting him,” said Karen Laspisa.

Laspisa searchers, however, remained undaunted and followed every lead no matter how remote, and at one point searched an area identified by a psychic as a possible location.

“You’ve been tireless. We are tireless some days and some days we’re not, but you are always tireless,” said Mike Laspisa. “That gives us so much support for us to make it through the next day when it all starts over again.”

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