YWN regrets to reform you, the body of a 19-year-old man found in Borrego Park in Lake Forest has been identified as missing student Blaze Bernstein, and his death is being investigated as a homicide, ABC 7 reports.
On Tuesday afternoon, at approximately 2 p.m., a search of the Foothill Ranch Park was initiated by Orange County sheriff’s investigators. Bernstein’s body was discovered in the brush surrounding the park.
As reported on YWN, Bernstein was visiting family while on winter break from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a pre-med student. On Tuesday, January 2, he went with a friend to Borrego Park at around 9:30PM to meet another person, for unknown reasons. He was last seen around 11 PM that day, when he walked further into the park and never came back. His phone stopped working about an hour later, his parents told reporters on Friday. He was supposed to fly back to the East Coast on Sunday to start classes again.
Approximately 25 members of the sheriff’s department search and rescue team surveyed the park and adjacent wilderness area Whiting Ranch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Officials confirmed the case is being investigated as a homicide, and an autopsy will be performed Wednesday.
No additional information regarding the cause of death or the condition of the body was immediately released.
Sheriff’s investigators are actively following multiple leads, but no suspect is in custody.
Blaze’s parents, Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein said that their son left their Lake Forest home that night without a word to either of them.
“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 said.
The investigation into this case is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000. Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.
(Nat Golden – YWN)