New details are emerging about the behavior and habits of Samuel Lincoln Woodward, the 20-year-old student arrested in connection with the death of Blaze Bernstein. According to Fox News, police have uncovered a pattern of violent social media posting from Woodward leading up the killing.
Bernstein had gone missing at Borrego Park in Southern California at around 11pm on January 2. Amateur drone users had offered assistance in the search for the 19-year-old student.
Woodward, who attended high school with Bernstein, was arrestd on Friday on suspicion of murder. Police noted his considerable anxiety during questioning. He was seen avoiding leaving fingerprints on door handles and with dirt under his fingernails.
Leading up to the death, Woodward's social media content had become increasingly violent and included defenses of the confederate flag. One post displayed an interest in waterboarding (a method of torture) and indicated that he'd be interested in learning how to perform it.
“Just one of me in the world is already bad enough," he responded to a question about cloning posed by a friend.
To a question about what he would need to survive on a deserted island, Woodward responded: “The Bible and a Colt .45."
Woodward had been seen at a park with Bernstein shortly before the latter's death. Police traced Woodward to the Bernstein incident by following the victim's Snapchat account. Woodward later said to police that he was part of a “fight club” where he fell in a “dirt puddle,” while explaining how he got dirt under his nails.
DNA evidence has now linked Woodward to the crime. A motivation for the killing remains unclear.
“We were able to today, through our crime lab, confirm evidence collected, through DNA that tied Mr. Woodward to Mr. Bernstein,” confirmed Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes.
“It will never bring back my son," Bernstein's mother wrote on social media of Woodward's arrest. 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."
Bernstein's funeral will be held today.
[Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office]