By Brad Edwards

(CBS) — A former Naperville man, attending college in California has been missing since the end of last summer.

Bryce Laspisa disappeared under bizarre circumstances that are still a mystery. Laspisa’s mother Karen returned to the Chicago area and spoke to CBS 2’s Brad Edwards in this Original Report.

“They had airplanes, helicopters, divers, we believe they did due diligence looking for our son,” said Karen Laspisa.

And nothing. He called mom one early morning and said he’d be home. Soon after, his vehicle was found on its side with the back window busted out and his stuff inside. A charred corpse was found nearby, but not Bryce.

This is Karen’s first visit home alone since.

“It’s hard because I seem to miss Bryce more being back here,” said Karen.

For that, she has her best friend, who has stage four cancer.

“This is my best friend that goes to sleep every night and doesn’t know where her son is, it’s unbearable,” said Patty Battle.

Together in their fights of a lifetime, for one, every night no son and no word.

“I’ll never give up hope, but it’s really difficult,” said Karen.

Just a couple weeks ago — on Bryce’s birthday — there was a tip that he was living with the homeless in a mountainous region of LA county. Nothing came of it.

An LA County Sheriff’s detective said Tuesday it’s an open missing person case.

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