Josh Hupperterz, a 29-year-old former Temple University student, is accused in the murder of Temple student Jenna Burleigh, who had just started classes at the Pennsylvania school.
Tragically, the body of Burleigh, 22, was found at Hupperterz grandmother’s home shortly after her father reported her missing, police say. She vanished after she allegedly left a bar with Hupperterz.
On Friday, September 1 at 8:45 p.m., Pennsylvania State Police found Hupperterz in Hawley, Pennsylvania, about 141 miles from Philadelphia, where he was taken into custody and transported to Central Detectives for further investigation into the disappearance of Jenna Burleigh, Philadelphia police said in a news release.
Hupperterz was subsequently arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Jenna Burleigh, police said. He is charged with murder, tampering with evidence, abuse of corpose, manufacturing with the intent to deliver and related offenses.
Here’s what you need to know:
At 8:23 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, Jenna Burleigh’s father reported the Harleyville Penssylvania 22-year-old missing to the Lower Salford Police Department.
He told police that Jenna commutes to Temple University for classes and that on Thursday August 31, he met his daughter for dinner “and she informed him that she was going out with a group of friends that night, and was going to stay overnight with one of her friends,” a police news release said.
The father then dropped his daughter off at her friend’s house in the Temple area and proceeded home. He had not heard from his daughter since that time and considered it very unusual.
The father traveled to Temple University and discovered that Jenna slso had not attended her scheduled class that day. Lower Salford Township and Temple University police both started looking for the young woman.
2. Surveillance Video Gave Police Their Break in the Case
Police said in the news release that they “recovered surveillance video that captured Jenna and a male identified as Joshua Hupperterz. 28, from North 16th Street in Philadelphia, leaving a location on the 1500 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and walking west towards 16th Street at approximately 2:08 a.m.
Temple Police then contacted Hupperterz by telephone and asked him what he knew about Jenna’s disappearance. Hupperterz allegedly told police that he “had been so drunk when he left the bar he had no recollection of who he had been with.
On Friday, September 1, 2017, the police detectives spoke with Hupperterz’ roommate, who provided “investigators with credible information on the appearance of Mr. Hupperterz.” The release doesn’t say what that information was, but police subsequently obtained a search warrant for his residence on North 16th Street.
Hupperterz admitted to “elements of the crime” in a partial confession, Philadelphia Police Capt. John Ryan, commanding officer of the homicide unit, said, according to Philly.com. The newspaper quoted Ryan as saying “the killing did not appear to be premeditated, and that police did not yet know a cause of death.”
3. Police Allegedly Found Burleigh’s Body at Hupperterz’ Grandmother’s House & Narcotics & Blood in Hupperterz’ Apartment
According to NBC Philadelphia, police searched both Hupperterz grandmother’s residence and state “police went to the home of Hupperterz’s grandmother in a small Wayne County borough in northern Pennsylvania.” They found Jenna Bureligh’s body there, NBC Philadelphia reported.
“Investigators believe Burleigh died inside the apartment on the 1700 block of North 16th Street. From there, her body allegedly was transported to Jenkintown and then to Paupack Township in Wayne County,” NBC Philadelphia reported.
According to Philly.com, citing police sources, “police found blood, large quantities of drugs and cash in Hupperterz’s North Philadelphia home…which sits around the corner from Pub Webb, a bar where Burleigh apparently met him for the first time.”
A search warrant “revealed further evidence into the investigation and narcotics,” a Philadelphia police press release said without being specific.”
4. Hupperterz Is a Former Student of Temple University & Allegedly Had Cuts on His Hands
According to NBC Philadelphia, Hupperterz also has ties to Temple University: He’s a former student.
Philly.com reports that in the home, “police found blood spattered near the kitchen sink, rear door, and on a trash can lid, along with 10 to 15 pillow case-size bags of marijuana and about $20,000 in cash.”
The Philadelphia newspaper also reported that a neighbor “heard screams coming from the apartment around 4 a.m. Thursday” and “Hupperterz had scratches on his face and a cut of some kind on his hand. He told detectives that he injured his hand on a broken bowl in his home,” Philly.com alleged.
5. Burleigh Had Just Transferred to the University & Her Father Says His Heart Is Broken
Burleigh was just starting a new school year in a new university.
The 22-year-old was “from Harleysville who had transferred from Montgomery County Community College,” NBC Philadelphia reported.
“Our Beautiful Angel Jenna is now in Heaven. Now I know for sure that you can have a ‘broken heart’ RIP honey,” her distraught father, Ed Burleigh, wrote on Facebook.