Ivy League student found dead in California park where he went missing

Blaze Bernstein (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

Orange County, Calif. (KTLA) — A University of Pennsylvania student who disappeared in an Orange County park while visiting his hometown during winter break has been found dead, officials announced Wednesday.

Homicide investigators have been called in to handle the case, which was opened after 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein was reported missing after a visit to Borrego Park in the Foothill Ranch area of Lake Forest, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

His body was found Tuesday around 2 p.m. in brush surrounding the park, officials said. A 25-member crew from the sheriff’s search and rescue force had combed the area from Friday to Sunday but found nothing.

An autopsy was expected to be performed on Wednesday to determine an official cause of death, deputies said. Officials were withholding further information about his body and the condition in which it was found until after the examination.

Bernstein drove to the park with a friend around 11 p.m. on Jan. 2 to meet another friend, his parents previously said.

He was officially reported missing by his parents on Jan. 3.

Check back for updates on this developing story.