Suspect arrested for alleged murder of UPenn student, mom says ‘revenge is empty’

A suspect was arrested for the alleged murder of University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein, who was found dead in Southern California this week, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

Blaze Bernstein, 19, had been home in Southern California for winter break when he went missing on Jan. 2.

ABC News
Blaze Bernstein, a pre-med student at the University of Pennsylvania, failed to return to his parents’ home in Foothill Ranch after going to nearby Borrego Park with a friend, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.

His body was found Tuesday in the brush surrounding Borrego Park in Foothill Ranch.

City of Lake Forest California
Borrego Park, California is where Blaze Bernstein was last seen, Jan. 2, 2018.

The Ivy League student’s mother, Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, tweeted today, “Finally.”

“My thoughts are: Revenge is empty. It will never bring back my son,” she said. “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.”

After the Penn sophomore’s body was found, his father, Gideon Bernstein, was emotional at a news conference, calling his son “a brilliant, colorful and charismatic man.”

KABC
Blaze Bernstein’s parents speak at a press conference, Jan. 10, 2018, after his body was found.

Embracing his wife, the grieving father called her his “rock,” adding, “Our children are so strong and we just want to see resolution.”

KABC
Blaze Bernstein’s hug at a press conference, Jan. 10, 2018, after his body was found.

Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, vice provost for university life at Penn, said in a statement this week, “I came to know Blaze, and I grieve his passing as I do all student deaths.”

She said Blaze Bernstein “loved the written word.”

Orange County Sheriffs Department/AP
Blaze Bernstein is pictured in an undated handout photo.

He was the incoming managing editor of the student-run food magazine, wrote opinion columns for the student newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian, and was also a copy associate for the arts and culture magazine of The Daily Pennsylvanian, she said.

“I realize these losses have the potential to affect many, many members of our Penn family,” she said. “Hug your friends and roommates. Practice self-care and empathy. Celebrate who and what you have on this special campus. Find unity and strength, together.”

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