Investigators confirmed that a body found near an Orange County park is that of a college student missing since last week, and officials said the man's death was being investigated as a homicide.
The body of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein was found around 2 p.m. Tuesday in the brush surrounding Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch - the park where he disappeared a week earlier, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said. He was last seen about 11 p.m. that night, and his phone stopped working about an hour later, FOX5 San Diego reported.
Search and rescue crews looked for Bernstein for several days, with assistance from drone pilots. No details were released on the cause of death or the condition of the body, and officials said an autopsy would be performed Wednesday. "[This case] will continue to be actively a missing person's case investigation until they find something that will lead them otherwise, and up until this point, everything that we have found is still leading us towards a missing person's case".
Bernstein was expected to return to campus on Sunday, the Orange County Register reported.
He had sent a text message at 9:30 p.m. January 2 with his family's Lake Forest address for a high school buddy to pick him up and take him to the park to meet a third person, she said.
But Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein said their son left without saying a word to them that night.
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The friend sent text messages to Blaze but got no response.
His parents added that the friend picked Bernstein up around 10.30pm and drove to Borrego Park.
"He didn't have anything with him", Della Donna said Friday in an interview with CBS Los Angeles.
Bernstein, a pre-med student at the Ivy League university, was back home in Lake Forest on winter break. They said he did not have money, his ID or wallet when he left, and did not use drugs or alcohol. 'I can't figure out why anybody would want to hurt my son'. "He didn't have his glasses or his medication". "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.