Police are preparing murder charges against a 29-year-old former Temple University student in the death of a woman enrolled at the college who went missing early Thursday morning.
The body of Jenna Burleigh, a 22-year-old junior at Temple who was reported missing early Thursday morning, was found Saturday as police discovered blood, drugs, and $20,000 in cash in the apartment of Joshua Hupperterz, 29, the main suspect in the homicide.
Investigators suspected foul play in Burleigh’s death after she was last seen in a North Philadelphia bar at 2am on Thursday.
Burleigh’s father, Ed Burleigh, posted a heartbreaking message on his Facebook page on Saturday, saying: ‘Our Beautiful Angel Jenna is now in Heaven. Now I know for sure that you can have a “broken heart” RIP honey.’
Police on Saturday confirmed that Burleigh’s body was found in Paupack Township, Pennsylvania, a town about 140 miles north of Philadelphia.
Hupperterz was taken into custody in Paupack Township, which is located in Wayne County.
Hupperterz has confessed to ‘elements of the crime,’ Philadelphia Police said.
Sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Hupperterz last took classes at Temple this past spring.
A native of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, he reportedly met Burleigh at a bar.
Hupperterz was taken into custody by police at the home of a relative in nearby Lackawanna County, the Inquirer reported.
Police were reportedly combing the area surrounding a lake just outside of Scranton.
On Friday night, police obtained a search warrant for Hupperterz’s home, which is located just around the corner from Pub Webb, the bar at which Burleigh was last seen early Thursday morning.
Surveillance footage captured at the time reportedly shows Burleigh and Hupperterz walking together toward his home.
After entering the house, investigators discovered blood spattered near the kitchen sink, rear door, and on a trash can lid.
Police also found between 10 and 15 pillow-case size bags of marijuana and approximately $20,000 in cash, the Inquirer reported.
Investigators also interviewed a neighbor who said that screams could be heard coming from the home at approximately 4am on Thursday.
Police noticed that Hupperterz had scratches on his face and a cut on his hand, which he told detectives was caused by broken china, the Inquirer reported.
Investigators also used cadaver dogs to search a nearby home in the area that reportedly belongs to Hupperterz’s mother and stepfather.
Investigators also want to interview a roommate believed to have lived in Hupperterz’s home.
Burleigh, a resident of the Philadelphia suburb of Harleysville, transferred to Temple. She was majoring in film and media arts.
The Temple News, a student-run newspaper, reported that Burleigh’s family notified campus police of her disappearance on Thursday night.
She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with writing on the front, tan boots, and blue jeans.
On Friday, Burleigh’s sister shared a missing person’s notice on Facebook asking anyone with information to come forward to authorities.
SOURCE: DailyMail – Ariel Zilber