While Bryce was sitting outside of the rest stop, one roadside attendant then brought the teen three gallons of gas. However, the teen did not immediately get back on the road.
During this time, Karen had also repeatedly attempted to get in touch with her son. So, as a last-ditch effort, she decided to contact the shop that had serviced Bryce’s car.
Karen got in touch with the attendant, named Christian, who offered to check on Bryce and make sure he had exited the rest stop. After 15 minutes, though, Karen received a call back from Christian– who claimed that Bryce had still been parked in the same exact spot for the three hours since he was provided with gas.
At that point, Karen was finally able to get in contact with her son. And Bryce just claimed to have been getting sleep and said he would be heading out.
So, Karen and Mike believed that their son would finally get to Laguna Niguel at about 3:00 p.m. on August 29, 2013. As the time came and went, though, Bryce never arrived and did not answer his cell phone.
This pushed the parents to file a missing person report at 6:00 p.m. with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Following the report, police officers ultimately found Bryce in his car just eight miles away from the rest stop– where he had been sitting for at least nine hours. At that point, officers searched the teen’s car and conducted a sobriety test. However, no signs of alcohol or drugs were found.
During this encounter with police, Bryce also said that he was heading to Laguna Niguel in order to “hang out with a friend and blow off steam.”
So, one officer told Bryce to contact his mother, and during this call, Karen instructed the teen to keep his phone on. And for several more hours, Bryce and his parents remained in contact before he ultimately disappeared.
Eventually, the 19-year-old stopped answering his phone again– pushing Mike and Karen to call back Christian, the roadside attendant. Christian offered to check on Bryce again and revealed that the teen was still parked near the same spot police had approached him hours before.
This call took place at approximately 10:00 p.m. on August 29– 13 hours after Bryce first ran out of gas. So, Christian decided to follow the teen back on the highway and drove behind him for approximately 10 miles.