Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Missing University of Pennsylvania student found dead, Police searching suspect

Missing University of Pennsylvania student found dead, Police searching suspect

The body of a missing 19-year-old college student who went missing about a week ago was discovered in Southern California, and the case is being investigated as a homicide. Bernstein, who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania and home for the holidays, was last seen at about 11 p.m. PT on January 2.

Witnesses said Bernstein had met up with a friend and they drove to the park, nearby his parents' home in Foothill Ranch.

Search-and-rescue crews looked for Bernstein for several days before investigators found his body in the brush near the park, the Los Angeles Times reported. "[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".

Bernstein, a sophomore, was planning to major in psychology and later study medicine, the Orange County Register reported his father, Gideon Bernstein, saying last week.

The friend later said when Bernstein didn't return he sent text massages to him, according to Della Donna.

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Bernstein was heading to meet a third person in the park, said lawyer Annee Della Donna, a friend of the family. While the friend used a bathroom, Bernstein walked off and has not been seen since.

His parents have publicly said that nothing was odd or out of the ordinary on the night of Bernstein's disappareance. The friend said he left and returned hours later to search for Bernstein.

Eventually, the location device on Bernstein's phone, which he had borrowed from a relative, stopped functioning and the phone was turned off at 11:30 p.m. "I don't think he planned on this being a long trip and he just disappeared".

"He didn't have anything with him", Donna said.

Bernstein, a pre-med student at the Ivy League university, was back home in Lake Forest on winter break. "I can't figure out why anybody would want to hurt my son". 'And he left behind his wallet, ID, money, glasses and medications he takes every day'. "He recently became managing editor of the foodie magazine at the University of Pennsylvania, called Penn Appétit", he said.

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