Crime lab expedites blood evidence in the Blaze Bernstein death

OCRegister 12 days ago

Crime-lab technicians on Thursday were fast-tracking DNA tests on blood evidence gathered in the homicide case of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, a University of Pennsylvania sophomore who disappeared Jan. 2 while in Lake Forest on winter break.

Bernstein’s body was found Tuesday near Borrego Park close to where he was reported missing a week earlier. Searchers had combed the park for days, but recent rains allowed the body to be more readily seen by investigators, Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, has said.

A search warrant affidavit filed by a sheriff’s investigator and obtained by the Register provides details about a friend who told police he drove Bernstein to Borrego Park where Bernstein exited the car and failed to return.

The friend agreed to further questioning at the sheriff’s headquarters in Santa Ana, where his story “stayed fairly consistent,” the affidavit says.

The document notes that while he had told investigators that he went to his girlfriend’s home after he left Bernstein in the park, he said he could not remember her last name and did not know where she lived.

“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,” the document says.

No arrests had been made.

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