Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Missing Jewish college student Blaze Bernstein found dead

Missing Jewish college student Blaze Bernstein found dead

The body of missing college student Blaze Bernstein was found Tuesday near Borrego Park in Orange County, California, and his death is being considered a homicide.

Sheriffs said Bernstein's body was found in brush near Foothill Ranch Park.

The document, described by the newspaper as a 16-page search warrant affidavit filed by a sheriff's investigator, detailed information given to detectives by a friend who said he drove Bernstein to Borrego Park in the Foothill Ranch area on January 2, the night he disappeared. Bernstein didn't respond to messages, so the friend said he left and went to a girlfriend's house, then returned to the park later.

Blaze's death is now being investigated as a homicide, and an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities declined to release additional information about the cause of Bernstein's death, but Lt. Brad Valentine said he believes Bernstein was killed the night he went missing. "At this point, the best thing to say is our investigators are actively following up on every lead that they can that will lead to an arrest of a suspect in this case".

Investigators also said that the friend seemed unsettled.

The friend, who attended Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana with Bernstein, told detectives that he spoke with him on SnapChat that night.

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In the affidavit, the investigator wrote that the friend said the scratches on his hands and dirty nails were from a "fight club" he was involved in. She came back to look for him later. We are incredibly appreciative of all the love, help and support we have received from family, friends, our community and from those around the country and throughout the world.

Blaze Bernstein, 19, was missing for more than a week since he left his parents' home to meet a friend.

Josselyn said she recruited Bernstein when she was visiting his high school in California, and became his adviser to help him maintain his creative writing talents while his academic life focused on science.

When asked how he got "dirt under the fingernails", the friend said he "fell into a dirt puddle", according to the newspaper.

'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. The friend told investigators that he had last seen Bernstein walking in the direction of Whiting Ranch Park, though it is unclear if he was intending on meeting someone. He didn't bring his wallet or a phone charger.

He said the family is "devastated" by the news, calling his son "a brilliant, colorful and charismatic man". "I don't think he planned on this being a long trip and he just disappeared".

"My message to Blaze is simply that we want him home, at all cost, and we don't care why and what happened". Celebrate who and what you have on this special campus.

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