A 19-year-old Jewish college student home in California on break has been missing since Tuesday, when he left his parents’ house to meet a friend and never returned.
Blaze Bernstein, a pre-med student at the University of Pennsylvania who contributed to the school’s literary magazine, left the house in Foothill Ranch in Orange County to go to a nearby park on Tuesday night.
The friend he was spending time with at the park told police that he went to the restroom, and when he came out, Bernstein had disappeared, Orange County sheriff’s department spokeswoman Carrie Braun told the Los Angeles Times.
“We do not believe foul play was involved at this point, and the friend is only a witness, not a suspect or person of concern,” Braun said.
Search-and-rescue teams have scanned the park and adjacent canyon areas using rescue dogs and aerial searches using thermal imaging, but have yet to spot him.
Bernstein’s father, Gideon Bernstein, told the Times that his son left home without saying goodbye, leaving behind his keys, wallet and eyeglasses.
“He probably thought he didn’t need his wallet because he was just going to hang out in the park or whatever,” he told the New York Daily News.
Gideon Bernstein is the chairman of the board of the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County.
A Facebook page has been set up with information about Blaze Bernstein and the search for him. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000.
This story "Jewish Teen Blaze Bernstein Still Missing In California" was written by Aiden Pink.