Male Suspect Arrested in Case of Calif. Student Found Dead After Vanishing on Winter Break

Chris Harris

California authorities have arrested a suspect in the case of University of Pennsylvania sophomore Blaze Bernstein, whose dead body was found earlier this week after he vanished while home on winter break.

The arrest was confirmed to PEOPLE by a spokeswoman with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. It comes 10 days after investigators say Bernstein was killed and nine days after he was reported missing.

The male suspect was apparently taken into custody on Friday, though his name and the charges against him were not released, according to ABC News, local TV station KABC and the Orange County Register.

The suspect was pictured in handcuffs with authorities after he was arrested. The exact nature of his alleged involvement in Bernstein’s death and disappearance was not immediately clear.

Authorities said more information would be released at a news conference later Friday.

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Blaze Bernstein
From left: Blaze Bernstein's parents, Jeanne Pepper and Gideon Bernstein, at a news conference on Wednesday after their son's body was found

Investigators have yet to comment on how Bernstein died. His body was found Tuesday afternoon in the brush at the edge of Borrego Park in Lake Forest, California.

He had returned to California from the University of Pennsylvania while on break, and his family reportedly lives just minutes from the park.

Bernstein’s parents spoke to reporters earlier this week, after their son’s body was discovered.

“Blaze was a brilliant, colorful, and charismatic man who shined light on all of the lives of the people and communities he touched. Needless to say, our family is devastated by the news,” Gideon Bernstein said on Wednesday, alongside wife Jeanne Pepper.

“We — like so many of you around the world — love Blaze and wanted nothing more than his safe return,” Gideon said.