Blaze Bernstein

Investigators still searching for missing college student, Blaze Bernstein, who was ‘excited’ to return back to school

Despite previous reports indicating that the search for a missing college student ended after finding no clues in a California wilderness area, investigators confirmed that they are still looking for him.

On Jan. 9, NBC reported that search efforts to find Blaze Bernstein, of California, ended after searching the Whiting Ranch Wilderness in Southern California and finding no clues. The announcement, however, only meant that authorities are concentrating on other areas, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

“Although that specific search and rescue effort in that specific area has ended does not mean the search for Blaze has ended,” Carrie Braun, spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. “[This case] will continue to be actively a missing person’s case investigation until they find something that will lead them otherwise, and up until this point, everything that we have found is still leading us towards a missing person’s case.”

According to Blaze’s father, Gideon Bernstein, his son lives alone in at an off-campus location in Pa., where he attended the University of Pennsylvania. He disappeared last Tuesday night while at Borrego Park, in the Foothill Ranch area of Lake Forest, California.

Previous reports indicated that the college student, visiting home on winter break, was waiting for his friend who stepped into the park’s restroom. When the friend returned, Blaze had disappeared. Yet, NBC reports that attorney and family friend, Annee Della Donna, explained that Blaze and unnamed high school friend pulled up to the park in a vehicle, and the friend remained in the car while Blaze got out to meet another friend.

Gideon Bernstein stated that just a week prior to returning home for a temporary family visited, Blaze was appointed the managing editor for a student-run food magazine Penn Appetit, at his school. Gideon Blaze also said his son was in “good spirits” and didn’t display any behavior that alerted anyone to any issues.

“He was having a good time with us and in good spirits.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Blaze is white, weighs about 130 pounds, stands 5 feet 8, and has brown hair and blue eyes. At the time he disappeared, Bernstein had a dark jacket on with a gray shirt and white Adidas shoes. He left behind most of his belongings, including his eyeglasses, wallet, credit card, and keys. He had his cellphone with him, but it was turned off around an hour after he disappeared.

“He didn’t have anything with him,” Donna said. “He didn’t have his glasses or his medication. He didn’t bring his wallet or a phone charger. I don’t think he planned on this being a long trip and he just disappeared.”

“He made dinner for the family that night,” Donna continued. “They had a great evening together. He was excited about going back to college and he was moving to a new apartment. He was on the Internet that night buying things. It all points to a kid who was not depressed, who was happy and wanted to go back to school.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact authorities at 714-647-7000. 

Feature Photo: Blaze Bernstein/Facebook]