Family, friends remember slain student at UPenn

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Family, friends gather to remember slain student at UPenn: Christie Ileto reports on Action News at 6 p.m., February 18, 2018 (WPVI)

Students, family and friends gathered on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania this afternoon to celebrate everything 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein loved in life and some of their best memories of the man murdered over winter break.

Family members say seeing everyone who came out today was truly heart-warming and hope it provides some sense of closure following his murder last month.

"There's something to be said about being consoled when you have horrible things happen to your family," said Gideon Bernstein, father of Blaze Bernstein. "We wanted to turn the tables and we wanted to make sure his friends and the students that knew him, knew that we're here to support them, too."

A sophomore at Penn, Blaze wrote op-eds for his school newspaper, was a copy associate for 34th Street and a foodie. He was set to be the incoming managing editor of 'Penn Appetit' a student-run magazine covering all things food.

His family admits coming back to campus has been a challenge

"It's part of the healing process," said Gideon Bernstein. "We had to unwind a lot of his life. It's really hard."

Blaze was at home in southern California on winter break when he mysteriously disappeared.

After an extensive week-long search, authorities found his body. He had been stabbed to death.

Prosecutors said Blaze's former high school classmate, Samuel Woodward, told authorities the 19 year old tried to kiss him.

As his family waits for justice for their son, they are working to focus less on how he dies and more on how he lived.

"It was really nice to meet friends that we had not met before," said Gideon Bernstein. "They told wonderful stories and we're really happy to know he was amongst amazing people that were here."

If convicted Woodward faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in prison.

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