Death of Penn Student Investigated as Act of Rage

Former classmate arrested over murder of Jewish student

Friend arrested in UPenn student's death made disturbing comments online, acted nervous during arrest, report says

Woodward was interviewed by police, who described him as nervous and said he had scratched hands and dirt under his fingernails.

A former classmate of murdered Blaze Bernstein has been arrested on suspicion of his homicide. He had not been answering calls and text messages, and he did not show up to his dentist appointment.

With 850 people in attendance to pay their respects, the 19-year-old was buried Monday morning, six days after his body was found at Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch.

The Orange County Register reports that authorities are investigating whether the killing was an act of rage.

Authorities said Bernstein, who was home on winter break from Penn, went missing after he and a friend met up and drove to the park around 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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He told investigators that he returned to the park to look for Bernstein hours later.

Rodney Lischer, left, and his son Matt, 20, of Lake Forest pay their respects at the memorial set up for Blaze Bernstein in Borrego Park in Lake Forest on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

Officials said Woodward became the primary suspect due to inconsistencies in his story. Woodward also "clenched up" his fists and jaws and said he "he wanted to tell Blaze to get off of him", according to the affidavit. He said the injuries were from a "fight club" he was part of and that the dirt had gotten there when he fell during the fight.

Bernstein may have been planning to sexually pursue Woodward, according to a 16-page search warrant affidavit obtained by The Orange County Register.

Upon news of Samuel's arrest, a Twitter account from an account appearing to be the account of Blaze's mother, Jeanne Pepper, tweeted an emotional statement. "My thoughts are: Revenge is empty".

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"It will never bring back my son". 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 Blazes murder. Authorities have not said how or why he died, or if a weapon had been used.

Detectives also noted that Woodward avoided touching anything, pulling his jacket sleeves over his hands and fingers. Bernstein had attended Orange County School of the Arts for creative writing. "There was a reference to a third person by Woodward [but] we suspect he was acting alone".

Woodward was interviewed by investigators after Bernstein was reported missing by his parents on January 3. Kobe Bryant shared a news release earlier this week about Bernstein's disappearance.

Bernstein's body was found after rain washed away soil on his grave in the park. "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.

"As we lay Blaze to rest, we ask that communities around the world that were touched by Blaze's life, help us keep his memory and loving spirit alive", the Bernsteins said.

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