Mystery over burning body found by cyclist near Castaic Lake

Authorities are trying to sort out the mystery of a burning body found Wednesday near Castaic Lake.

Firefighters responded to a call of a brush fire at 6:04 a.m. about three miles north of Lake Hughes Road, said Los Angeles County fire supervisor Bernard Peters. It took fire crews 18 minutes to reach the blaze. The fire was reported by a passing cyclist.

“We got there and it was what appeared to be a body,” Peters said.


The person was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We have no idea who this is,” said L.A. County sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Nagler. “We are waiting for homicide [detectives] and the coroner to arrive.”

Since Friday, authorities have been searching Castaic Lake for 19-year-old Bryce Laspisa, whose pickup truck was involved in an accident in the area.

Laspisa was driving a 2003 Toyota Highlander that was found on its side about 5:30 a.m. Friday on the Main Ramp Road near the lake, authorities said. Several hours earlier, Laspisa called his parents, reportedly from Buttonwillow in Kern County, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities said Laspisa lives in Roseville, in Placer County, and had been driving to visit his parents in Orange County.

Deputies on Tuesday scoured San Francisquito Canyon and surrounding areas with the aide of a helicopter and search dogs. Rescue divers from the Sheriff’s Department searched Castaic Lake for evidence that might help investigators locate the man.

Laspisa was described by authorities as white with red hair and blue eyes. He is 5-feet-11 and weighs 170 pounds.

Anyone with information was asked to call Det. Chris Carns at (323) 890-5500.


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