Jenna Burleigh, a 22-year-old Temple University student reported missing last week, was found dead in Pennsylvania on Saturday, leading to murder charges for a man who was last seen leaving a Philadelphia bar with the woman, police said.
Police on Sunday charged Joshua Hupperterz, 29, with murder, tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse and other offenses. Surveillance camera footage had shown Hupperterz and Burleigh leaving Pub Webb, near the Temple University campus, about 2 a.m. Thursday.
Later that day, Burleigh’s father reported his daughter missing, launching a missing-persons investigation by local and campus police. When Temple University police contacted Hupperterz about Burleigh’s disappearance, the man claimed he had been too intoxicated after leaving the bar to recall who was with him.
Joshua Hupperterz (Courtesy Philadelphia Police Department)
After speaking with Hupperterz’s roommate, investigators obtained a search warrant for his apartment, just around the block from Pub Webb, Philadelphia police said. A search of his residence “revealed further evidence into the investigation and narcotics,” according to police.
Just before 9 p.m. Friday, state police officers found and arrested Hupperterz at his grandmother’s home in Hawley, Pa., about 140 miles north of Philadelphia in Wayne County. He is being held without bail, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
On Saturday, a body presumed to be Burleigh’s was discovered at the home, police said.
“Two crime scenes were processed,” Philadelphia police Capt. John Ryan said at a news conference Saturday, referring to Hupperterz’s apartment near Pub Webb and a residence in Jenkintown, Pa., about 10 miles north of Philadelphia. Ryan did not give further details about the crime scenes, but said that Hupperterz had confessed to “elements of the crime.”
There was no indication Hupperterz and Burleigh knew each other previously, he added.
Ryan told reporters Saturday that police still did not know the cause of death, but believe Burleigh was killed in Philadelphia; her body was then moved to the Jenkintown residence before finally being taken to Wayne County, he said.
The investigation is ongoing.