Body of Missing 19-Year-Old Penn State Student Found in Park, Case Now a Homicide Investigation
The body of a missing 19-year-old college student who went missing about a week ago was discovered in Southern California, and the case is being investigated as a homicide.
Blaze Bernstein’s body was found Wednesday in Borrego Park in Lake Forest, located in Orange County, California, investigators told the Orange County Register.
“On Tuesday afternoon, at approximately 2 p.m., a search of the Foothill Ranch park was initiated by sheriff’s investigators. Bernstein’s body was discovered in the brush surrounding the park,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun said in a statement to the newspaper. “An autopsy will be performed today,” Braun added.
Celebrities like Jeremy Piven, Mayim Bialik, and Kobe Bryant posted on Twitter and Facebook to help search for the missing college student.
Bernstein had been on break from the University of Pennsylvania and visiting was family, the paper reported.
— g_simoes (@GlynetteSimoes) January 10, 2018
But on Jan. 2, he sent a text message to a high school friend and asked to be picked up from his home to be taken to the park to he could meet a third person, a family friend, Annee Della Donna, told the Register. They arrived at the park at 10:30 p.m., and he went alone into the park, she said.
His friend sent him text messages when he didn’t come back. The friend left and returned to the park hours later at 4 a.m. to search for him.
Search-and-rescue crews looked for Bernstein for several days before investigators found his body in the brush near the park, the Los Angeles Times reported.
ABC7 reported that he was reported missing by his family the next day.
His father, Gideon, said that his son was slated to fly back to Pennsylvania on Sunday for class. “We know Blaze would have loved to be on that flight back to school,” Gideon Bernstein wrote, according to the ABC affiliate report.
But Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein said their son left without saying a word to them that night.
“I feel like we’ve explored everything that we could in regard to what happened. But all that we really know is that he ran off into the wilderness and we don’t know why,” his mother was quoted as saying.
No additional information on his case was released by police. Investigators are looking into multiple leads, but no suspect is in custody.
Those with information can call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000. And anonymous tips can be sent to the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.
The blaze Bernstein missing case has consumed me. So many holes in story. Please hoping for a safe return pic.twitter.com/e6qDNMybIz
— Seth Galena (@SethGalena) January 9, 2018