"Bernstein's Grindr Profile was reportedly active that day."
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- A search warrant obtained by the Orange
County Register reveals more details about the account of a
friend who was last to see a college student found slain in a
California park this week. Authorities had been searching for 19-
year-old Blaze Bernstein for days when his body was found
Tuesday afternoon in brush surrounding a neighborhood park in
the Foothill Ranch area of the city of Lake Forest, the Orange
County sheriff's department said. The University of Pennsylvania
student had been home in California on winter break when he
Bernstein was last seen around 11 p.m. on Jan. 2 while entering
Borrego Park. Authorities have said witnesses said Bernstein met
up with the friend and the two drove there, and he got out of
the vehicle and went into the park.
The friend said when Bernstein didn't return he sent messages to
him, then left and returned hours later to search for him,
reported CBS Los Angeles.
At a Wednesday press conference, authorities released few
details about what they called an active investigation, other
than to confirm they are investigating the death as a homicide,
no one is in custody and police believe that Bernstein was
likely killed the night he went missing. Brad Valentine, the
chief of police services for the City of Lake Forest, also
confirmed a search warrant had been executed Tuesday night in
the city of Newport Beach, but wouldn't release further
The Orange County Register reported new details about the
friend's story to investigators Thursday, including that the
friend appeared nervous during a police interview and had
scratches on his hands and dirt under his fingernails. The paper
cited a 16-page search warrant affidavit it obtained, but it's
not clear whether the affidavit is related to the Newport Beach
According to the affidavit, the friend and Bernstein both
attended the same Orange County high school. The friend said he
picked up Bernstein and they drove to a parking lot of a Hobby
Lobby in Lake Forest Jan. 2 to "hang out" and "catch up," the
The friend said Bernstein told him they were going to meet
another friend from high school, and they drove to the Borrego
Park parking lot shortly before midnight, reports the OC
Register. The friend said Bernstein walked by himself into the
park. After about an hour, the friend said he tried to contact
Bernstein unsuccessfully on SnapChat, then left around 1 a.m.
and drove to his girlfriend's house in Tustin.
When Bernstein still hadn't responded around 3:40 a.m., the
friend said, he returned to the park around 3:40 a.m. to search
Detectives interviewed the friend two days later and noticed
that his hands had several small scratches and abrasions, the
paper reports, citing the affidavit. The friend allegedly said
the scratches were from a "fight club" he was involved in.
Detectives also noticed he had dirt under his fingernails, the
paper reports, and the friend said he "fell into a dirt puddle."
The affidavit says the friend was nervous and "breathing heavy,
talking fast and visibly shaking," according to the paper.
The friend agreed to an interview at the sheriff's headquarters
in Santa Ana, where the affidavit says his story "stayed fairly
consistent," though he told detectives he couldn't remember the
last name of the girlfriend he said he visited after Bernstein's
disappearance and didn't know where she lived.
According to the paper, the affidavit also says that
investigators noticed that the friend, while leaving the
sheriff's headquarters, "every door (the friend) had to touch on
the way out of the building he pulled his jacket over his hand
to prevent his hand and fingers from touching any part of the
doors he touched."
Valentine said Wednesday police had interviewed the friend who
last saw Bernstein multiple times and said he is not in custody.
He would not comment as to whether police had identified any
suspects or persons of interest.
A sheriff's spokesperson declined to comment on the affidavit to
Bernstein's parents gave an emotional statement to reporters
Wednesday, thanking the sheriff's department and crying as they
embraced. Bernstein, a sophomore, was planning to major in
psychology and later study medicine, the Orange County Register
reported his father Gideon Bernstein saying last week.
On Wednesday, Gideon Bernstein thanked community members through
tears for their support in the efforts to find his son.
"Our family is devastated," he told reporters.