Calif. Student Blaze Bernstein’s High School Friend Named as Suspect in His Murder

California officials have identified the suspect in the case of University of Pennsylvania sophomore Blaze Bernstein, who went missing during his winter break and was found dead earlier this week.

During a press conference Friday evening, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department named Bernstein’s high school friend Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20, as the suspect in the case.

Woodward, of Newport Beach, California, was arrested at about 1:15 p.m. Friday on suspicion of homicide, according to Undersheriff Don Barnes. He told reporters a motive for the crime is unknown and that the investigation is ongoing.

Barnes said the Bernstein family allowed authorities access to Blaze’s social media accounts, including Snapchat, which led investigators to Woodward.

Woodward was interview by investigators and said they were meeting another friend at Borrego Park in Lake Forest, California, where Bernstein’s body was eventually found in a “shallow grave” according to Barnes.

He allegedly told investigators that upon arriving at the park, Blaze walked off by himself and that an hour later Woodward could not find him. Woodward claimed he left the park but returned an hour later to attempt to locate Blaze. When he did not, he told police he left.

“Based on inconsistencies in , our investigators focused on this individual in the homicide of Blaze,” Barnes said, adding Woodward has been under surveillance “for some time” before his arrest on Friday.

“How well they were friends in high school we do not know,” Barnes said. “We don’t know why they were at the park. There was a reference to a third person by Woodward we suspect he was acting alone.”

Barnes said Woodward and Blaze had driven to “multiple locations” before arriving at Borrego Park. While he would not divulge details as to where the two stopped, Barnes said Woodward “has been cooperating with police,” although he has not confessed to the crime.

How Bernstein died will nit be released until the autopsy report is finalized. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters charges were still pending for Woodward, but they could be filed as early as Tuesday.

The attorney for the Bernstein family made a statement on their behalf on Friday, saying, “We will continue to search for justice for Blaze and his family.”

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“Our words cannot express how grateful our family is for their community… for expressing their love and support during this past very difficult week,” the statement read.

Finally. My thoughts are: Revenge is empty. It will never bring back my son. 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. Now Do Good for Blaze Bernstein

— Jeanne Pepper (@bernsteinmom) January 12, 2018

When news of Woodward’s arrest came, a Twitter account from an account purported to be the account of …read more



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