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Friend of U Penn student arrested in murder case

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on an arrest in the death of a 19-year-old student found buried in a California park (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Authorities have arrested a friend in the killing of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student who was buried in a shallow grave at a Southern California park.

Orange County officials say 20-year-old Samuel Lincoln Woodward of Newport Beach was arrested Friday on suspicion of murder.

Undersheriff Don Barnes says DNA evidence links Woodward to the crime. Details of Bernstein’s death aren’t being released.

Barnes says investigators are still trying to determine a motive.

Barnes says Woodward was the last person to see Blaze Bernstein alive. Bernstein was visiting his family in Foothill Ranch during winter break when his high school friend Woodward picked him up on Jan. 2 and drove with him to several places before winding up at a neighborhood park.

Bernstein’s body was found Tuesday after recent rains partially exposed it.

Authorities say Woodward has asked for an attorney.

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2:49 p.m.

A suspect has been arrested in the death of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student whose body was found this week at a Southern California park.

Orange County sheriff’s department spokeswoman Carrie Braun says the suspect was taken into custody Friday. She did not identify the suspect or provide any other details.

The student, Blaze Bernstein, was home on winter break when he disappeared on Jan. 2 after he was taken to the park by a friend.

The friend was interviewed by police, who described him as nervous.

Bernstein’s body was found in brush surrounding a neighborhood park in the Foothill Ranch area of Lake Forest on Tuesday after a search lasting nearly a week.

Authorities have said they were investigating the death as a homicide.

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