A week after he vanished in the area, the body of a University
of Pennsylvania student was found Tuesday in a Southern
California park -- prompting investigators to launch a homicide
investigation into the 19-year-old’s death.
Blaze Bernstein’s body was discovered in the brush surrounding
Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch community, the Orange County
Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday. Bernstein was reported
missing when he didn’t return home after he went walking in the
park to meet another person on Jan. 2. He was last seen about 11
p.m. that night, and his phone stopped working about an hour
later, FOX5 San Diego reported.
“Sheriff’s investigators are actively following multiple leads,
but no suspect is in custody,” the sheriff’s office said in a
Bernstein, a pre-med student at the Ivy League university, was
back home in Lake Forest on winter break. He hitched a ride from
a friend to meet another individual at the park — but went
missing after he went to look for that person. The friend who
was initially with Bernstein said he went to a bathroom and left
the park after he couldn't find the UPenn student, according to
The student’s disappearance led to a dayslong search that
involved authorities using drones to try and locate the 19-year-
Bernstein's parents previously said they believed their son
wasn’t planning to be gone for an extended time because he had
left his wallet, identification card and glasses at home.
Bernstein was expected to return to campus on Sunday, the Orange
County Register reported.