Suspect formally charged with Temple University student’s murder

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania —

Philadelphia police have formally charged a man with killing a Temple University student who had been missing since early Thursday morning.

Joshua Hupperterz, 29, was charged with murder early Sunday. He was also charged with abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and possession of an instrument of crime.

Investigators said on Saturday he had admitted to elements of the crime.

Jenna Burleigh, 22, of Harleysville, was last seen in the area of Pub Webb at 1527 Cecil B. Moore Avenue around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Police believe Burleigh and Hupperterz had just met before they left the bar. Investigators say there is no indication of a prior relationship between the two.

VIDEO: Police news conference on Jenna Burleigh’s murder

Burleigh was reported missing by her father, and the community was alerted to Burleigh’s disappearance on Friday.

According to Philadelphia police, the investigation led from a home on the 1700 block of North 16th Street, then to a home in Jenkintown, Pa., then finally to Paupack Township in Wayne County.

VIDEO: Police search home in Jenkintown, Pa.

On Saturday afternoon, police discovered a body believed to be Burleigh on the lakefront property of Hupperterz’s grandmother in Paupack Township.

Police believe Burleigh was murdered in Philadelphia, then her body was transported to the Jenkintown home, then to Wayne County.

There was no word on the circumstances or cause of Burleigh’s death. The murder does not appear to be premeditated, investigators said.

VIDEO: Police search home on North 16th Street in Philadelphia

Hupperterz is a former Temple student. Court documents show he was charged with DUI, theft and burglary in 2013.

Charges against other individuals are possible, police said.

Burleigh’s father reacted to the news of her death on his Facebook page Saturday afternoon.

The school’s president said Burleigh had just joined the Temple community this week as a junior transfer student from Montgomery County Community College, majoring in film and media arts.

In a statement, the Temple Student Government said:

Those that knew Jenna described her as “big hearted,” “hilarious,” “fiercely feminist,” “unapologetically herself,” and “an incredibly woke young woman.” She spent much of her time combating racism and sexism, as well as defending the rights for LGBTQIA+ community.

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