The Orange County Sheriff's Office says Samuel Woodward, 20, was taken into custody Friday in the death of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein.
Investigators were led to Woodward after accessing Bernstein's Snapchat account, Barnes said.
Anyone with information on Bernstein's death is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department at 714-647-7000.
According to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Orange County Register, Woodward told sheriff's investigators he drove Bernstein to the park, where he got out and walked away.
Authorities had been searching for Bernstein for days when his body was found Tuesday afternoon in brush surrounding a neighborhood park in the Foothill Ranch area of the city of Lake Forest.
A law enforcement source not authorized to discuss the investigation named the man detained as Samuel Woodward, 20, of Newport Beach.
In a press conference held by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on January 12, authorities confirmed that the suspect taken into custody is Samuel Woodward, 20, who along with Bernstein, attended the Orange County School of the Arts, one of the top schools in the country to study creative writing.
"With his death, a attractive light has been extinguished and we encourage you to continue to shine his light, through acts of loving kindness", the Bernstein family said in a statement read by their attorney.
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Undersheriff Don Barnes says DNA evidence links Woodward to the crime.
"Finally", Bernstein's mom tweeted.
Blaze Bernstein has been missing since Tue., Jan. 2, 2018.
"Revenge is empty", Bernstein's mother, Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, wrote on Twitter after the arrest was announced. It will never bring back my son.
'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. They met and drove to the Hobby Lobby parking lot in Lake Forest to "hang out" and "catch up", and then went to the park. He said he left the park at 1 a.m. and drove to his girlfriend's house in Tustin and then returned to the park at about 3:40 a.m. after Bernstein still had not responded. Investigators have been unable to confirm whether there was a third person at the park. "Woodward was acting alone", Barnes said. The friend said he could not recall the girlfriend's last name or address. "With his death, a attractive life has been extinguished".
The search-warrant affidavit says the detectives noticed that Woodward's hands were scratched and he had dirt beneath his fingernails during one of his meetings. The affidavit also reportedly stated that Woodward attributed the scratches and abrasions to a "fight club".
"With his death, a handsome light has been extinguished and we encourage you to continue to shine his light, through acts of loving kindness", the family said in a statement read by attorney Annee Della Donna.