Blaze Bernstein

Blaze Bernstein Update: ‘Friend’ of murdered college student was shaking, had dirt under nails & scratch marks: Affidavit

A 16-page search warrant affidavit filed by Orange County, California, detective provides more details into the death of University of Pennsylvania college student, Blaze Bernstein.

OC Registers reports that the unnamed man who was with 19-year-old Blaze on the night he disappeared, told police that he picked up Blaze on Jan. 2, in the parking of the Lake Forest Hobby Lobby, so that they could “hang out” and catch up with each other.

The friend said he previously attended the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana with Blaze. After graduation, Blaze enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania and moved to an off-campus apartment close to the school. He was back in California on winter break to visit family when the friend picked him up.

RELATED Reading: Missing college student Blaze Bernstein found dead; foul play suspected: Police

According to the friend, he took Blaze to Borrego park to meet another friend, reportedly another high school friend. When they arrived, Blaze allegedly got out of the car and walked to the park alone while the friend stayed behind in the vehicle. After waiting for Blaze for around an hour, the friend said he left to visit his girlfriend at around 1 a.m. When questioned about his girlfriend, he said he couldn’t remember her last name or where she lived. He said he returned to the park at around 3:40 a.m. but saw no sign of Blaze.

While interviewing the friend, detectives noticed his hands were scratched and he had “dirt under the fingernails” on both of his hands. The warrant states that the friend was also “breathing heavy, talking fast and visibly shaking.” He explained he was a member of a “fight club” and had gotten scratched and dirty while participating. Further, he apparently didn’t want his fingerprints to touch any doors while on his way to talk to detectives.

“On their way out of Sheriff’s Headquarters, (investigators) noticed every door (the friend) had to touch on the way out of the building he pulled his jacket over his hand to prevent his hand and fingers from touching any part of the doors he touched,” the affidavit read.

When asked, the friend agreed to let officers search his car. The warrant states that authorities found camping equipment, a black belt, and a large plastic bin inside.

Carrie Braun, spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, declined to comment on the affidavit and declined to give details on the condition of the victim’s body. She did indicate that authorities are still pursuing leads in the case. So far, there’s no indication that authorities have found the other alleged friend who supposedly met Blaze at the park.

On Wednesday, Blaze’s parents made a public appearance and  thanked the public for the outpouring of love and support.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Blaze Bernstein: Handout]