The death of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student who was stabbed almost two dozen times and whose body was found buried in a shallow grave at a California park is being investigated as an act of rage, a newspaper reported. Woodward told investigators that he picked up Bernstein from his home in Lake Forest, California, and they drove to a Hobby Lobby parking lot to "hang out" and "catch up", the Orange County Register reported, citing a court affidavit.
On Monday, the same day Blaze Bernstein's family held a memorial service for him, a search warrant affidavit acquired by the Orange County Register detailed the gruesome condition of Bernstein's body and described unusual behavior by suspect Samuel L. Woodward, 19, who was taken into custody three days earlier after DNA evidence linked blood found on his sleeping bag to Bernstein.
Authorities say Bernstein went to the park at night with his high school friend, Sam Woodward, and disappeared.
The affidavit also says Woodward claimed that Bernstein kissed him when they met on January 3 before the Ivy League student disappeared and was later found in a shallow grave in a nearby park. No weapon has been found. When questioned by Orange County authorities, Woodward could not remember the girlfriend's last name or where she lived, according to the Register, but said he returned to search for Bernstein later that night.
Woodward, a Newport Beach, California local, also wrote that the Confederate flag was not a symbol of hatred, but one of Southern pride.
When asked what he would have when stranded on an island, Woodward responded: "The Bible and a Colt. 45".
In response to some of Woodward's comments an anonymous user said, "You are violence". Authorities said Woodward was "breathing heavy, talking fast and visibly shaking".
"We believe Mr. Woodward was acting alone", Barnes said.
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Detectives also noted that Woodward avoided touching anything, pulling his jacket sleeves over his hands and fingers.
"We will continue to seek justice for Blaze, his family and our community". Blaze wanted to make the world a better place. Bernstein had attended Orange County School of the Arts for creative writing.
His dad said that he had a passion for cooking and was a creative writer. He was recently chosen to edit a culinary magazine at the University of Pennsylvania.
A friend at school told WPVI that she had been communicating with Bernstein over break over ideas for the magazine for the next semester.
His family and friends held a memorial service Monday.
Blaze Bernstein's family knew something was wrong.
"By all accounts, both of these families are good people whose lives have been turned upside down in a awful way", Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. "We want them to post them, we want them to do whatever they can in Blaze's honor".