College sophomore Blaze Bernstein found dead in California
Jan 10 2018 by Desiree Burns
Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old pre-med student at the University of Pennsylvania who returned home to Orange County for winter break, disappeared on January 2.
Investigators had been searching for 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein for days when his body was found in in Borrego Park in the Foothill Ranch area of Lake Forest, according to the Orange County Sheriff. At 9:30 p.m., he sent a text message with his family's Lake Forest address for a high school friend to pick him up and take him to the park to meet the third person, she said.
About 25 sheriff's deputies searched for Bernstein in the adjacent Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the department had said.
Authorities declined to release additional information about Bernstein's cause death, saying their investigation was ongoing.
His parents have publicly said that nothing was unusual or out of the ordinary on the night of Bernstein's disappareance.
An autopsy is set for Wednesday.
"Sheriff's investigators are actively following multiple leads, but no suspect is in custody", the sheriff's office said.
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His father, Gideon Bernstein, said his son was a sophomore planning to declare a major in psychology with a minor in chemistry and was "pursuing it with a pre-med focus".
The park is five minutes away from the family home and Bernstein and his friend got there at 10:30 p.m., the attorney said. The friend then left the park but returned at 4 a.m.to look again.
Bernstein evidently escaped the auto around 11 p.m. also, went into the recreation center, the sheriff's area of expertise said.
"He didn't have anything with him, " she said.
Gideon Bernstein, who serves as the chairman of the board of the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County, said the help the family has received from the community has been overwhelming.
"He left our house that night with no wallet, no money, no identification, no credit cards, no keys, no eyeglasses", Jeanne Pepper said. "He didn't have his glasses or his medication. I don't think he planned on this being a long trip and he just disappeared". "He recently became managing editor of the foodie magazine at the University of Pennsylvania, called Penn Appétit", he said.
"I feel like we've explored everything that we could in regard to what happened".