Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20, of Newport Beach was arrested Friday on suspicion of murder, Orange County officials say. There was no other details released about the suspect's identity, but local TV coverage showed deputies escorting a young male in cuffs that it identified as the suspect. Bernstein's body was found at the park Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said they were investigating his death as a homicide but would not say how he died. MORE: Search warrant provides new details into investigation of OC student's deathA search warrant, which has since been sealed, recently revealed details of the investigation.
On Thursday, a search warrant indicated that the friend, who was not identified, appeared visibly shaken while being interviewed by detectives. When Bernstein didn't return, his friend began sending him text messages but didn't hear back, she said, adding the location device on his phone eventually stopped working. According to the document, Woodward said Bernstein seemed depressed, but didn't say he wanted to hurt himself. Authorities located his body in Borrego Park a week later. The friend said Bernstein then walked alone into the darkness. The friend said he went with Bernstein to a neighborhood park in the city of Lake Forest on January 2 to meet up with another friend but stayed in the auto, the Orange County sheriff's investigator wrote in the document. His parents said he left the house with no wallet, money, identification, keys or eyeglasses.
The friend also had what looked like "dirt under the fingernails" on both of his hands and, during a follow-up interview at the sheriff's headquarters, took measures to avoid touching any doors in the office with his hands or fingers, the newspaper reported.
Woodward also had dirt under his fingernails, which he told authorities was due to falling into a "dirty puddle" while sparring.
Prosecutors said they would review evidence as they determine what charges to file.
During a meeting with authorities earlier this week, police say Woodward put his jacket over his hand so that his bare skin would not touch any part of the doors he opened and closed on his way out of the police station.
He agreed to be further interviewed at the sheriff's headquarters in Santa Ana, where his story "stayed fairly consistent".
Bernstein attended the Orange County High School of the Arts for creative writing. A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday at Borrego Park in which friends mourned the loss and expressed support and prayers for his family.