Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Missing Jewish College Student Blaze Bernstein Found Dead

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.

An attorney and friend of the family told CBS Los Angeles that the two arrived at the park around 10:30 p.m., and Bernstein went off alone to meet another unnamed person. The driver said Bernstein didn’t return text messages; according to the family friend, the driver returned hours later to search for Bernstein.

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.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.