Authorities arrest friend in death of U Penn student


Orange County Sheriff's officials have arrested the high school friend of a University of Pennsylvania student, who was found dead in a park this week.

Woodward was identified by police from Bernstein's SnapChat account and was linked by DNA evidence to the crime, police said.

Woodward, who attended the Orange County School of the Arts with Bernstein, defended the Confederate flag and expressed an affinity for weapons on social media, CBS Los Angeles reported.

According to the OC Sheriff's Department, Woodward was the last person in contact with Bernstein before he disappeared.

An affidavit obtained by the Orange County Register revealed that two days after Bernstein disappeared, Woodward had scratches on his hands and dirt under his fingernails. PREVIOUS STORY BELOW.Bernstein's body was found Tuesday in the brush along the perimeter of Lake Forest's Borrego Park after he had been missing for a week.

During a press conference on Friday, a sheriff's spokesperson said that although Blaze's disappearance was initially treated as a missing persons case, the abundance of clues, information, and the ultimate discovery of the victim's body, found buried in a shallow grave on the south end of Borrego Park, turned it into a homicide case.

Barnes says investigators are still trying to determine a motive. On the night of January 2, Woodward picked Bernstein up and they drove to multiple locations before arriving at Borrego Park. He said that he waited in his vehicle while Blaze walked to the park, then waited for around an hour the victim to return, but he never did.

A funeral is planned for Monday for the popular premed student, who was home on winter break from the Ivy League achool. When Bernstein didn't return, Woodward said he left. "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 he touched", the newspaper quoted the affidavit as saying.

"Revenge is empty", Bernstein's mother, Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, wrote on Twitter after the arrest was announced. The friend said he could not recall the girlfriend's last name or address.

It also states that while speaking to the friend at Borrego Park on January 4, detectives noticed his hands had several small scratches and abrasions. It will never bring back my son. In the affidavit, authorities also said the friend appeared nervous and was "visibly shaking". "My only hopes are that he will never have the opportunity to hurt anyone else again and that something meaningful can come from the senseless act of Blaze's murder".