SANTA ANA, Calif. — A suspect has been arrested in the death of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student whose body was found at a California park, authorities said Friday.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Brain declined to provide a name or other details. A press conference was scheduled later in the day.
The student, Blaze Bernstein, was home on winter break when he disappeared on Jan. 2 after he was taken by a friend to a park in Lake Forest.
The friend was interviewed by police, who described him as nervous and said he had scratched hands and dirt under his fingernails.
Bernstein’s body was found Tuesday in brush surrounding the park. Authorities said they were investigating the death as a homicide.
Related: Body of missing UPenn student Blaze Bernstein found in California park
Bernstein, a college sophomore studying psychology was last seen at the park on the night of Jan 2. Witnesses told authorities that Bernstein had met a friend and the two drove to the park, where Bernstein got out of the car.
The friend told a sheriff’s investigator that he left about an hour later when Bernstein did not return or respond on social media.
Search and rescue crews looked for Bernstein for several days, with assistance from drone pilots.
Bernstein’s death rocked the tight-knit community 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. Hundreds held a candlelight vigil to remember him.
It is the only homicide reported in Lake Forest in at least four years, according to authorities.
Bernstein attended the Orange County High School of the Arts for creative writing. He was recently chosen to edit a culinary magazine on campus.