Friend arrested in death of University of Pennsylvania student
14 January 2018, 10:19 | Erica Roy
BREAKING: Arrest made in connection to the death of College sophomore Blaze Bernstein
Jessie Fischman, who was friends with Bernstein in middle school, called him "an incredible friend with a truly radiant personality".
Bernstein's body was found Tuesday after recent rains partially exposed it.
When asked why he had dirt under his fingernails, the friend reportedly told police he "fell into a dirt puddle".
The two knew each other from high school, Barnes said. Woodward said he and Bernstein spoke on Snapchat that night of January 2 and made plans to pick him up. Authorities say DNA evidence linked Woodward, who was the last person to see Bernstein alive, to the killing. When Bernstein didn't return, Woodward said he left.
According to an affidavit published in the Register, police twice interviewed the man now identified as Woodward, who said he drove the man to a park so that he could meet a third person. Investigators also said they would not release details on the condition of Bernstein's body or what may have occurred at the park. Bernstein's father said he found these notes and sent them to the executive director, Wharton sophomore Rachel Prokupek, to use this coming year.
Barnes said Bernstein was at his family's Lake Forest home on winter break from Penn, where he was a pre-med student. He said it was from a fight club.
"With his death, a attractive light has been extinguished and we encourage you to continue to shine his light, through acts of loving kindness", the family said in a statement read by attorney Annee Della Donna. "Our words can not express how grateful the family is to the community here in Orange County and all over the world for expressing their love and support during the past very hard week". My thoughts are: Revenge is empty.
"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.
"The only thing I can think of is that maybe he was abducted", the newspaper reported Bernstein's mother Jeanne saying on Sunday. They also saw dirt under his nails.
Detectives noticed that he was nervous during the interview and was "breathing heavy, talking fast and visibly shaking".
At one point, Woodward opened the doors to his rental vehicle and allowed two detectives to look inside, according to the affidavit.
A search warrant affidavit, obtained by the Orange County Register, said that Woodward 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. The detectives interviewed the friend a couple of times and say his story remained consistent.
"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", the affidavit stated, according to the report.