A friend of slain pre-med student Blaze Bernstein was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with the death of the University of Pennsylvania sophomore, whose body was found near a Foothill Ranch park on Tuesday, a week after the 19-year-old disappeared. The warrant, obtained by the Orange County Register, said that the friend 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.
When the Sheriff's Department initially interview Woodward, he said that he dropped Bernstein off at the park and waited for an hour in the auto. Bernstein, 19, was found dead in a California park earlier in the week after he went missing the week before.
Authorities searched for Bernstein for almost a week with assistance from drone pilots and found his body on Tuesday after recent rains partially exposed it.
"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 Bernstein family said in a statement read by their attorney.
The friend said he went with Bernstein to a neighborhood park in the city of Lake Forest on January 2 to meet up with the victim's girlfriend but stayed in the vehicle, the Orange County sheriff's investigator wrote in the document. He explained both by saying he was part of a "fight club".
Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes said Woodward was not initially a homicide suspect in the case, but that he had been under surveillance "for some time" as authorities investigated the case.
At the press conference, Annee Della Donna, an attorney for the Bernstein family said they were grateful for the work of local law enforcement in this past week.
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Bernstein's death rocked the tight-knit community 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
She tweeted, when hearing the news: 'Finally. 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".
'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 Blaze's murder. "Now Do Good for Blaze Bernstein".
Pictured is another view of the park. He wore a sweatshirt that read, "Keep the peace". It's unclear why the suspect didn't check to see if Blaze made it home to his parent's house, who live around five minutes away from the park.
Woodward and Bernstein had attended the Orange County School of the Arts together.
His dad said that he had a passion for cooking and was a creative writer. He was recently chosen to edit a culinary magazine on campus.