This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old Jewish student at the University of Pennsylvania who went missing from his parents’ Southern California home, has been found dead.
Bernstein’s body was found Tuesday in brush surrounding Borrego Park in Lake Forest, his hometown, CBS News reported. His death is being investigated as a homicide and an autopsy was being performed on Wednesday.
Bernstein had left his parents’ Orange County home a week ago to visit a friend at the park. The friend whom Bernstein met on the evening of Jan. 2 told the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that he last saw Bernstein at about 11 p.m. He said that when he returned from going to the bathroom, Bernstein was gone.
Bernstein did not take his his keys, wallet, credit cards and eyeglasses when he left his parents’ house to meet the friend, and did not say goodbye, his father told the Los Angeles Times.
On a Facebook group dedicated to finding Bernstein, his mother, Jeanne Pepper, called her son’s death “tragic and senseless.” She posted a poll asking group members to vote on different ways to remember honor Bernstein’s legacy.
Bernstein was scheduled to fly back to college on Sunday.