Authorities on Friday arrested a friend in the killing of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student whose body was found buried in a shallow grave at a California park.
Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20, of Newport Beach was taken into custody for investigation of homicide after DNA evidence linked him to the death of college sophomore Blaze Bernstein, Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes said.
Woodward was the last person to see Bernstein alive, Barnes said.
Woodward was interviewed by investigators after Bernstein was reported missing by his parents on Jan. 3.
A sheriff’s investigator wrote in court filings that Bernstein appeared nervous, had scratched hands and dirt under his fingernails, and avoided touching doors with his hands while leaving the sheriff’s office building.
Bernstein was home visiting his family in Lake Forest during winter break when Woodward picked him up on Jan. 2 and drove with him to several places before winding up at a park.
Woodward told investigators that he left the park after Bernstein went out and didn’t return or respond to social media messages.