UPenn student found dead in California park; homicide investigation launched

A week after he faded in the field, the body of a University of Pennsylvania student was observed Tuesday in a Southern California park — inspire investigators to launch a murder investigation into the 19 -year-old’s death.

Blaze Bernstein’s body was discovered in the brush surrounding Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch community, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday. Bernstein was reported missing when he didn’t return home after “hes been gone” walk-to in the park to satisfy another person on Jan. 2. He was last insured about 11 p.m. that night, and his phone stopped running about an hour afterward, FOX5 San Diego reported.

“Sheriff’s investigators are actively following multiple leadings, but no suspect is in custody, ” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

An autopsy was set to be performed Wednesday.

Blaze Bernstein’s body was found on Tuesday in Borrego Park, the same place where he was reported missing. ( Ocean County Sheriff’s Office)

Bernstein, a pre-med student at the Ivy League university, was back home in Lake Forest on winter break. He hitched a ride from a friend to fulfill another someone at the park — but went missing after he went to look for that person. The friend who was initially with Bernstein said he went to a bathroom and left the park after he couldn’t find the UPenn student, according to KTLA.

The student’s disappearance led to a dayslong search that involved authorities use dronings to try and locate the 19 -year-old. Bernstein’s parents previously said they believed their son wasn’t planning to be gone for an extended hour because he had left his billfold, identification card and glasses at home.

Bernstein was expected to return to campus on Sunday, the Orange County Register reported.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

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