Friend arrested in death of Penn student in California

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A 20-year-old man was arrested in the homicide case surrounding Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old college student whose body was found in an Orange County park this week.

On Friday, authorities were able to tie Woodward's DNA to evidence of interest to the investigation, Barnes said.

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.

"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". It's believed the two exchanged messages on Snapchat the day of the killing.

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Several questions remain unanswered about Bernstein's death, which jolted a community that, officials say, rarely sees such violence. He also had dirt under his fingernails and scratches on his hands, which he attributed to having participated in an outdoor fight club with some friends. In the affidavit, authorities also said the friend appeared nervous and was "visibly shaking".

Bernstein, a sophomore at UPenn, was planning to major in psychology and later study medicine, the Orange County Register reported his father Gideon Bernstein saying last week.

The two knew each other from high school, Barnes said. Investigators said they are treating his death as a homicide.

The friend had attended the Orange County School of the Arts with 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. 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.

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"We will continue to search for justice for Blaze and his family", Annee Della Donna, an attorney for the Bernstein family, said at the press conference, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian.

The arrest comes three days after Bernstein's body was found at a Foothill Ranch park. He had been in Orange County on winter break.

"Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, the Ivy League student's mother, after hearing of the arrest tweeted "Finally", She told the Times".

"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", the grieving mom told the Los Angeles Times. "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". Several celebrities, including Big Bang Theory actress and Lakers legends and, posted about the case as Bernstein's whereabouts were still unknown to the public.

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