A suspect was named in the alleged murder of 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein — initially missing before he was found dead in a shallow grave on the fringe of a Southern California park this week, the police and prosecutors in Orange County said.
Samuel Woodward, a high school classmate of Bernstein’s and also 19-years-old, was brought into custody this afternoon during a traffic stop and charged with suspicion of homicide in the death of the teenager.
Bernstein was visiting home for winter break from Penn when he went missing on Jan. 2.
His corpse was found Tuesday in what Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes described today as “a shallow grave in the brush on the outer perimeter” of Borrego Park near the victim’s Foothill Ranch home.
Barnes refused to discuss what murder weapon was allegedly used.
He also wouldn’t reveal Woodward’s alleged motive or the condition of Bernstein’s body.
But he did say that autopsy results were pending.
The discovery of Bernstein’s body, Barnes said, was helped along by the recent downpour of rain that managed to move some of the soil that was covering him.
“The rains helped move some of the dirt,” he said.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said that he expected prosecutors to work through the holiday weekend to hand down an indictment by Tuesday.
The prosecutor said that the entire incident was “very tragic” and that Bernstein “had a life in front of him that is now extinguished.”
He added that both the Bernstein and Woodward families “are good people” whose lives “have been turned upside down” as a result of…