A 19-year-old college student was missing since Tuesday when he left his parents’ house to meet a friend and failed to return home. 

The victim identified as Blaze Bernstein is a sophomore from California and a student at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). According to a report in New York Daily News, Bernstein went to Borrego Park in Orange County, California, while he was home for his winter break, said a press release from the Orange County Sheriff’s department Jan. 5. 

Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department said according to the friend, he used a bathroom at around 11 p.m. local time (2 a.m. EST) but when he came out, Bernstein was no longer there. 

“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, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The search and rescue operations to find Bernstein were underway as of Saturday, but there was no development in the case. Apart from the efforts put in by the sheriff’s department, the teenager’s father, Gideon Bernstein, also launched an independent effort to locate his son.

Talking to New York Daily News about the same, he said, with the help of a few friends, he managed to assemble a team of professionals who were flying a fleet of drones over area toll roads.

“We put them out over the area because people say they may have seen Blaze the morning after he left our house,” he said. “I am trying to keep as busy as possible trying to find him and not think about everything else. We have encouraged our friends and family to come over. We have 10-20 people in our house at a time and everyone is helpful. It’s been amazing.”

Gideon said he did not know his son’s friend but later learned the boys had known each other for a while. Gideon believes his son left home Tuesday intending to return as he left his wallet and eyeglasses behind.

“He probably thought he didn’t need his wallet because he was just going to hang out in the park or whatever and maybe he had his contacts in,” he said. 

According to Gideon, he first had a doubt something was amiss when Blaze missed a dental appointment Wednesday afternoon.

“I left work early and we came back to the house and started to pour through the computer and figure out what messages he had sent were relevant to what he had been up to in the last 24 hours,” he told New York Daily News. 

Bernstein is a bright student at UPenn and an editor of the Penn Review literary magazine. He was also recently made managing editor of Penn Appetit, a food publication.