Friend With Dirt Under Nails Arrested in Student's Death

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Police in California arrested 20-year-old Samuel Woodward of Newport Beach in connection with the murder of University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein. The warrant, obtained by the Orange County Register, said that the friend had scratches and abrasions on his hands and dirty fingernails and that he said he could not recall the last name or address of a girlfriend he visited after dropping off Bernstein. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said during a press conference that charges were pending against Woodward and did not elaborate on what he could face until all details of the case were looked over.

A suspect has been arrested in the death of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student whose body was found this week at a Southern California park. Bernstein's body was found Tuesday in a shallow grave in the brush surrounding the park, police said. When Bernstein didn't return, his friend began sending him text messages but didn't hear back, she said, adding the location device on his phone eventually stopped working.

The friend said he went with Bernstein to a neighborhood park in the city of Lake Forest on January 2 to meet up with the victim's girlfriend but stayed in the auto, the Orange County sheriff's investigator wrote in the document.

Sheriff's officials said the investigation is ongoing and a motive is still not known.

Woodward also had scratches on his hands, which police say he told them he had sustained while participating in a fight club.

During a meeting with authorities earlier this week, police say Woodward put his jacket over his hand so that his bare skin would not touch any part of the doors he opened and closed on his way out of the police station. Celebrate the goodness that still exists in this world in-spite of these acts of senseless evil.

The death of Bernstein rocked the tight-knit community of Lake Forest, 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.


"Revenge is empty", Bernstein's mother, Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, wrote on Twitter after the arrest was announced.

"Nothing will bring back my son so we ask the world to please honor Blaze's memory by doing an act of kindness today - don't wait - do it now. People are good and Blaze knew that", she said.

News of Woodward's arrest comes two days after Bernstein's identity was confirmed as the body found the day prior.

Pictured is another view of the park.

Woodward attended Orange County School of the Arts around the same time as Bernstein.

His dad said that he had a passion for cooking and was a creative writer.

Bernstein had just been chosen as managing editor of Penn Appetit, a student-run magazine on food at Penn, . The friend said Bernstein had complained about his grades in school and "seemed depressed but never said anything about wanting to hurt himself".

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