Foul play suspected as body of missing Pa. college student is found

Body found in Calif. ID'd as missing Pa. college student death ruled homicide

On Tuesday afternoon, at approximately 2 p.m., a search of the park in Lake Forest was initiated by sheriff's investigators.

The body of an Ivy League student who went missing while visiting his family for the winter holiday has been found in a park nearby to his family home.

Blaze Bernstein, a pre-med student at the University of Pennsylvania, failed to return to his parents' home in Foothill Ranch after going to nearby Borrego Park with a friend, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department.

Gideon Bernstein said, "As this investigation moves from search and rescue to homicide investigation, we ask for your continued support in providing tips and information to the Orange County Sheriff's Department".

Investigators did not release further information regarding the cause of death, but say they are following multiple leads.

The report also noted that while leaving the sheriff's headquarters, for "every door (the friend) had to touch on the way out of the building he pulled his jacket over his hand to prevent his hand and fingers from touching any part of the doors he touched", according to the Register.

According to an affidavit obtained by the Orange County Register, when detectives interviewed the friend who brought him to the park they say he had cuts and abrasions on his hands and dirt under his nails.

He claimed the injuries were from a "fight club" he was involved in. She came back to look for him later.

Investigators have interviewed the friend several times, and he is not in custody, Valentine said. The University of Pennsylvania student had been home in California on winter break when he vanished.

On Thursday, as Blaze's family searched for answers, details of the interview the friend gave on January 4 emerged.

The friend was unable to recall his girlfriend's last name or address, police reportedly said in the search warrants. Police announced they were investigating the death as a homicide.

'We have just learned that the O.C. Sheriff's Department and coroner's office has confirmed our family's worst fears and have positively identified our son Blaze's body.

When he did not return, his friend sent him text messages, which went unanswered.

Bernstein was dropped off at the park by a friend at 10:30 p.m. and walked into the wooded area on foot.

Eventually, the location device on Bernstein's phone stopped functioning and the phone was turned off, Della Donna said."He didn't have anything with him, " she said.

On New Year's Day, university freshman William Steinberg, 18, died along with his family in a plane crash in Costa Rico.

"The only thing I can think of is that maybe he was abducted", the newspaper reported Bernstein's mother Jeanne saying on Sunday. "We love you and we're here for you". Celebrate who and what you have on this special campus.

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