Blaze Bernstein case: College student stabbed 20+ times, authorities say

Blaze Bernstein right went to the park with high school friend Samuel Woodward on Jan. 2 authorities said. Woodward was arrested in Bernstein's death on Friday

Orange County authorities said they used Blaze Bernstein's Snapchat account to help identify the suspect arrested in connection with the slaying of the Ivy League college student, but authorities have not revealed details about a possible motive in the case.

A former classmate of murdered Blaze Bernstein has been arrested on suspicion of his homicide. He had been on a winter break, visiting his parents in Lake Forest.

The message said: "In the midst of the Bernstein family's grief, we are enormously grateful to local law enforcement and the countless volunteers for finding Blaze and ensuring that his killer is brought to justice". Over 300 people gathered in in Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch Lake Forest on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 for a candlelight vigil for Blaze whose body was found in the park. Bernstein, 19, was found dead in a California park earlier in the week after he went missing the week before. Barnes also declined to describe Bernstein's relationship with Woodward. But he told the police that he drove Bernstein to the park and left when his friend didn't return. The two also attended Orange County School of the Arts together. "Now Do Good for Blaze Bernstein".

Woodward was arrested Friday afternoon.

Orange County Dist. Atty. That friend told investigators that he had left Bernstein after he walked off by himself in Borrego Park, Barnes said. Woodward reportedly said he came back hours later, but couldn't find Bernstein. He said he returned to the park hours later to look for Bernstein.

When asked about his girlfriend, Woodward could not remember her last name or where she lived - even though he claimed to have driven to her house, according to the affidavit cited by the Register.

Woodward was arrested Friday after crime lab technicians determined that blood found on a sleeping bag in his possession belonged to Bernstein, the Register learned.

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It's not clear whether Woodward was being serious or was joking in the social media posts. Here is the statement issued by the Bernstein family: "We are heartbroken". A search warrant that the Orange County Register obtained claimed detectives found scratches and dirt on Woodward's hands, though he told investigators they came from a fight club, as well as a fall into a puddle.

Bernstein's body was found on January 10 near the park, after rain runoff exposed parts of the remains.

Woodward told investigators that on January 2, Bernstein had kissed him on the lips and that he pushed Bernstein away.

Investigators said in the affidavit that as he recounted that part of his story, Woodward clenched his jaw and his fists, saying "he wanted to tell Blaze to get off of him". When detectives spoke to him again on January 4, two days after Bernstein disappeared, his hands had several scratches and abrasions.

The court document indicated that Woodward was known in high school for holding conservative political and cultural beliefs.

In his social media page, Woodward is seen defending the Confederate flag as well showing an affinity for firearms.

Sheriff's detectives had Woodward under surveillance for several days before taking him into custody, and at one point secretly attached a court-approved Global Positioning System device to Woodward's rental vehicle, the affidavit said.

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