Slain Penn student's parents speak on devastating loss of 'gentle soul'

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- With the goal of honoring their son's life, Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein spoke to reporters for the first time since an arrest was made for his murder.

Nineteen-year-old Blaze Bernstein was laid to rest Monday, nearly two weeks after he went missing.

"He was a gentle soul. He never hurt anyone. He was just giving, he just gave of himself," said his mother, Jeanne Bernstein.

Both parents spoke about the legacy their son leaves behind and the amount of potential he had. They have been overwhelmed by the support of family, friends and the community.

"They want so much to help us bring this boy back and we can't. So how can we turn this into an opportunity that will be something beautiful?" said Gideon Bernstein, Blaze's father.

They described the gut wrenching last two weeks, from Blaze's disappearance, a homicide investigation, to Blaze's former classmate Samuel Woodward being arrested by sheriff's deputies.

MORE: Murder charge filed against Blaze Bernstein's former classmate

They are seeking justice.

"Even though my son can't be brought back, that there is a consequence," Jeanne said.

Investigators say the Bernsteins provided valuable information from Blaze's social media accounts, something his mother wants to focus on now.

"To make the Internet a safer place and to make the applications our children are using more transparent," Jeanne said.

They hope to honor their son's legacy with kindness and are grateful for sympathy from around the world, including the LGBTQ community.

"We're all God's children, and everybody should be loved alike regardless of what their sexual orientation is," Gideon said.
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