FOOTHILL RANCH (CBSLA) — Police and parents of a missing 19-year-old college student not seen since Tuesday are looking for any sign of the teen.

Blaze Bernstein returned home to Foothill Ranch from the University of Pennsylvania for winter break.

His parents say a friend picked him up after 11 p.m. and they drove to nearby Borrego Park. CBS2/KCAL9’s Laurie Perez reports his friend said he stayed in the park while Bernstein went into the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Area.

Bernstein’s parents say the friend told them he didn’t know why Bernstein wanted to go there. They didn’t even know he had gone out until the next day when they couldn’t find him.

“And the fact that he didn’t tell us he was going out tells us he wasn’t planning to be gone very long,” Bernstein’s mother said. “And he left behind his wallet, ID, money, glasses and medications he takes every day.”

For the second time this week, volunteers with the Sheriff’s Reserve Bureau headed out to search wilderness park. Two aerial searches using thermal imaging found nothing.

Bernstein’s parents and detectives say they have searched the teen’s social media accounts but have not been able to get full access to his accounts because he is 19 years old.

The teen was scheduled to fly out Sunday morning to return to classes at the University of Pennsylvania.

Comments (12)
  1. Follow the story of the”friend” who said he was with him. If the boy walked into the park, canines would follow a scent. Everyone is searching the area the “friend” led them to. This story doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. I’m no detective, but my first gut impression says to keep looking at that “friend” as a person of interest! My heart out to his parents.

  3. The friend knows. Search his car for evidence. He says he stayed in his car while Blaze went into the Wilderness Park. Then he says he went to the bathroom and when he came out Blaze was gone? Which one is it? This will not end well. Peace to his parents.

  4. Based on the information released to the public this story just does not seem to be what the friend said. I’ve read some of Blaze’s writings and he seems to be a very smart guy, way smarter than someone who’d meet up with anyone in the wild late at night. It just doesn’t fit his cultural profile. There are a lot of buildings in the are (McDonald’s, shopping centers, library, schools etc.) which should have security cameras, so the friend’s car should be easy to follow. When did he arrive, did he really wait for an hour, when did he come back…this information can be easily verified. Also, you’re taking your friend to park late at night, disappears without a trace for an hour and instead of looking for him, calling his parents (when he didn’t answer his texts anymore) he left him there and went who knows where to turn back at 4 A.M. It’s not like you left him in bar, restaurant with friends somewhere, you left him in a park seeing he goes on the path leading in the wild. Just doesn’t make any sense AT ALL. Based on all this non-sense it appears they are searching for him in the wrong place. Using thermal cameras won’t help too much if the worst happened, because his body temperature dropped to the surrounding’s already. If he is really there then his friend knows what happened. If he’s not, then his friend(s) know what happened either. He must be within 1 hour driving time somewhere not far from roads, highways.

  5. Renee Varela says:

    Yes,this does not make sense. What friend would not ask why are you making me bring you here!Who are you meeting. The parents can go on line to his phone carrier. Set up an account as account holder. Go to usage,Then look up incoming out going numbers used. Also look up the incoming out going txted numbers. Make the friend hand over his phone,check all numbers your self. If this was my son,I would not wait for police to check into things. That friends phone needs to be taken.

  6. There are several comments on the “Find Blaze” Facebook page to the effect that Blaze had an account on Grindr (a gay dating and hookup app). Were the parents aware that their kid might be gay? Had they ever discussed this with him? If not, might this have been an issue potentially motivating him to run away — possibly even into a situation involving foul play?

    I’m not suggesting any of this out of a desire to hurt or taunt the parents; in fact, my motivation is precisely the opposite. I’m gay, and I’ve seen terrible things happen to guys that age (very gifted ones, at that) who leave home (or who leave an otherwise promising life behind) because they don’t feel their families could deal with this issue. Indeed, it’s often a communication problem rather than outright hostility.

    Above all, have the police raised this question with the parents? If the parents want to find their son, and if this indeed might be an issue, it could be crucial in finding their son — and coming to terms with it might be crucial for a happy reunion and a reconciliation. (Needless to say, this isn’t a recommended way for a guy to come out to his parents — but even the smartest, sweetest 19-year-old might not have the wisdom to confront them [and risk their possible disappointment]).

    While these speculations could be entirely off-base, if they turn out to have a grain of truth, all the drone searches in the world won’t help. The parents will never be able to forgive themselves for their denial — and I’d never forgive myself for failing to raise the question.

    1. Dean Crane says:

      +Mitchell Halberstadt
      It’s now about 18 hrs since you commented and since then, there is another site where someone put two pictures together of his hand, specifically showing a mole on a certain finger, and the hand/mole appear to be the same hand/mole in a gay hook-up ad (in the picture of the guy on it).
      It may not help, but since there was speculation whether he was on that hook-up site or not, these two pictures put together look like he definitely was.

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