Police Arrest Suspect in Slaying of College Student in SoCal

Police Arrest Suspect in Slaying of College Student in SoCal

In a press conference held by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on January 12, authorities confirmed that the suspect taken into custody is Samuel Woodward, 20, who along with Bernstein, attended the Orange County School of the Arts, one of the top schools in the country to study creative writing. Woodward and Bernstein were friends and former classmates at the Orange County School for the Arts in Santa Ana.

According to the affidavit, Woodward said he left the park, visited a girlfriend and went back to look for Bernstein hours later in the early morning. The friend said he and Bernstein spoke on Snapchat that night of January 2 and made plans for the friend to pick him up.

"We Do Believe Mr". Authorities said they were investigating his death as a homicide but would not say how he died.

"With his death, a handsome light has been extinguished and we encourage you to continue to shine his light, through acts of loving kindness", the Bernstein family said in a statement read by their attorney. He also would not discuss the condition of Bernstein's body, which was found in a shallow grave in some brush. He said Woodward was arrested based on inconsistencies in his comments to investigators.

Undersheriff Don Barnes says DNA evidence links Woodward to the crime. That was the last time Bernstein was reported to have been seen, authorities said. He had been in Orange County on winter break.

After the sheriff's department announced on Wednesday it had found and identified Bernstein's body, his parents thanked investigators in an emotional statement to reporters.

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Investigators were led to Woodward after accessing Bernstein's Snapchat account, Barnes said. These were from a "fight club" he was involved in, according to the report. "With his death, a attractive life has been extinguished".

"We will continue to search for justice for Blaze and his family". "Our words can not express how grateful the family is to the community here in Orange County and all over the world for expressing their love and support during the past very hard week".

"Revenge is empty", Bernstein's mother, Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, wrote on Twitter after the arrest was announced. It will never bring back my son. Bernstein didn't respond to messages, so the friend said he left and went to a girlfriend's house, then returned to the park later. The friend said he seemed depressed, but didn't say he wanted to hurt himself.

Bernstein apparently went to meet Woodward at a park near his home on January 3 and never returned.

While leaving the sheriff's facility during an interview, he covered his hands with clothing before touching the door knobs, the affidavit says. They asked him how his hands got so dirty and he said he "fell into a dirt puddle" during the sparring session.

The 16-page warrant filed by a sheriff's investigator and obtained by Bernstein's friend was "breathing heavy, talking fast and visibly shaking". Inside the vehicle, officers found camping equipment, a black belt, and a large plastic bin inside. Investigators say Woodward and Bernstein knew each other from high school, but authorities did not provide details on the nature of their relationship.

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