Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Brain declined to provide a name or other details. A press conference was scheduled later in the day.
The student, Blaze Bernstein, a sophomore studying psychology, was home on winter break when he was last seen the night of Jan. 2 after a friend drove him to a park in Lake Forest.
The friend was interviewed by authorities, who described Bernstein as nervous and said he had scratched hands and dirt under his fingernails. The friend said Bernstein had walked into the park after getting out of his car, and the friend left about an hour later when Bernstein did not return or respond on social media.
Search and rescue crews looked for Bernstein for several days, with assistance from drone pilots.
Bernstein’s body was found Tuesday in brush surrounding the park. Authorities said they were investigating the death as a homicide.
Bernstein’s death rocked the tight-knit community 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. Hundreds held a candlelight vigil to remember him.
It is the only homicide reported in Lake Forest in at least four years, according to authorities.
Bernstein attended the Orange County High School of the Arts for creative writing. He was recently chosen to edit a culinary magazine at the university.
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