Man arrested in 'Idol' hopeful's death

SEASIDE HEIGHTS — Police arrested a 23-year-old Toms River man in connection with the death of "American Idol" contestant Alexis Cohen.

Daniel Bark was arrested at 6 p.m. Sunday in Atlantic Highlands on charges of causing Cohen's death by reckless driving and then leaving the scene of the collision.

If convicted, Bark could serve 10 to 15 years. Bark is being held in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River in lieu of $35,000 bail.

The "American Idol" hopeful was killed after a motor vehicle struck her early Saturday morning and was found 350 yards from the Bay Boulevard lot where police found her car.

The nature of Alexis Cohen's abdomen, chest and head injuries led police to rule the cause of her death was vehicular homicide, police said.

It is unclear whether Alexis Cohen, 24, of Allentown, Pa., had been returning to her car when she was struck, said Deputy Chief Michael Mohel of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Police were notified at 5:05 a.m. Saturday by a driver and passenger who saw the body while passing the intersection of Bay Boulevard and Dupont Avenue, Mohel said.

Earlier news reports stated police were notified around 4 a.m.

Cohen was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m., police said.

Mohen said "an extensive investigation" led to Bark's arrest.

"American Idol" viewers might remember her angry yet empowered, partially censored post-rejection rant aired during the show's seventh season.

Last year for Season 8, she also auditioned unsuccessfully.

Mohel was contacted about Cohen's death Sunday by a slew of media organizations, including CNN, MSNBC, NBC, People magazine, FOX News and the New York Daily News, he said.