Penn student stabbed 'at least 20 times' in possible rage killing

Blaze Bernstein right was reportedly stabbed at least 20 times before he was found dead in a California park on Jan. 9. Sam Woodward left was arrested as a suspect in his death

ABC News reports that the parents of Blaze Bernstein, Gideon Bernstein and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, issued a public statement after an affidavit, obtained by the Orange County Register, noted that the suspect, 20-year-old Samuel Woodward, said that Blaze attempted to kiss him on January 2, the night the University of Pennsylvania college student disappeared.

Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20, was arrested on Friday in the death of Bernstein, a former high school classmate of Woodward's, police said.

On Monday, the Orange County Register reported Blaze Bernstein had been stabbed more than 20 times, according to an affidavit.

Woodward was arrested and told investigators he became angry after Bernstein kissed him the night they went to the park in Lake Forest.

A weeklong search for Bernstein ended with his body found in the bottom of a shallow grave close to his family's home in Southern California, Officials said he been stabbed almost 20 times. Woodward eventually left the park at 1 a.m., telling investigators he drove to a girlfriend's house in Tustin, but returned about 3:40 a.m. when Bernstein still had not surfaced, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Orange County Register.

Samuel Woodward, 20, who was charged with murder at an arraignment Wednesday, used the "f-word" when discussing his meeting with Bernstein on the night he disappeared, the Orange County Register reported.

"Our son was a lovely gentle soul who we loved more than anything", Gideon Bernstein and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein. The two knew each other from high school, he said. "We were proud of everything he did and who he was".

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Bernstein's parents say the killing may have been a hate crime against their gay son. Authorities reported he was found near shrubbery in a shallow grave.

In the affidavit, investigators added that Woodward "clenched his jaw and his fists" during a portion of his story, saying, "he wanted to tell Blaze to get off of him".

Investigators found Woodward had abrasions, scratches and dirt on his hands, and during surveillance he was seen cleaning the vehicle, Rackauckus said.

"We are saddened to hear, on the day we laid our son to rest, that gruesome details of the cause of his death were published", Bernstein's parents said in their statement. Bernstein, 19, was found dead in a California park earlier in the week after he went missing the week before.

Authorities have not revealed a motive for the slaying, but the source said Woodward claimed Bernstein kissed him.

Police said, according to the affidavit, during their questioning, Woodward couldn't remember his girlfriend's last name or where she lived.

Woodward, whose occupation is listed in jail records as "nerf games", is in Orange County Jail without bail.

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