I’ve often thought about revisiting the disappearance of Bryce Laspisa.
The Investigation Discovery series Disappeared does it for me (and the rest of us) Monday night.
In August 2013, Laspisa left Sierra College in Rocklin, which is north of Sacramento, to visit his parents in Laguna Niguel.
The next morning, Laspisa’s 2003 Toyota Highlander was found upside down near Castaic Lake. His wallet, cell phone, laptop and all of his clothing were still inside the vehicle, but Laspisa was not. He hasn’t been seen since.
Actually, some reports did come in of sightings of him in Oregon. Reports also came in from other parts of Southern California.
In September 2013, a burned body was found near Castaic Lake. Authorities determined it was not Laspisa. Intense searches of the area, including the lake, showed no signs of him either.
Disappeared includes interviews with the missing man’s parents, Mike and Karen Laspisa, as well as private investigator Denise Savastano and Det. Sgt. Robert Martindale of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
“It’s the worst thing anyone can experience,” Karen Laspisa tells the camera. “It’s worse than death.”
A few days before Bryce’s disappearance, his college roommate called Mrs. Laspisa to say her son was acting strangely. He’d been drinking heavily, taking stimulants and had just broken up with his girlfriend. The mother and son had exchanged texts and calls during his trip home after only two days of classes. They were still in communication more than 20 hours after what should have been a seven-hour drive.
On the trip home, Bryce also had contact with a tow truck driver and CHP officer, both of whom were so concerned about the despondent fellow they reached out to his mother (and vice versa). Hours later, it appeared her son’s vehicle was purposely steered off a road, over some brush and in the direction of the remote lake before it went full speed down a 25-foot embankment and flipped over. There are signs the driver walked away, but he probably would have been pretty banged up, Martindale mentions in the piece.
After a three-year hiatus, Disappeared has returned for a seventh season due to viewer demand for new episodes, according to Investigation Discovery.
Monday’s episode premieres at 7 p.m. with an encore at 10 p.m. Click here for the Investigation Discovery channel finder.