Temple University Student Reported Missing Is Found Dead, Suspect Arrested

September 3, 2017 Updated: September 3, 2017

A student from Philadelphia’s Temple University who disappeared on Thursday morning near the school has been found dead.

Jenna Burleigh, 22, was reported missing Friday after she vanished from a popular bar near the campus. Her body was found at a home about 150 miles away.

Ex-Temple student Joshua Hupperterz, 29, was arrested and charged with her murder on Saturday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He had a scratched-up face at the time of his arrest, which he claimed was caused by a broken bowl.

Joshua Hupperterz, 29, was charged with murder (Police handout)
Joshua Hupperterz, 29, was charged with murder (Police handout)

Police told reporters that Hupperterz confessed to “elements of the crime” before he was charged with murder, evidence tampering, and other charges. He’s being held without bail now, authorities said, the newspaper reported.

Police said in a statement on Sunday: “Hupperterz informed [a detective] that he had been so drunk when he left the bar he had no recollection of who he had been with,” 6ABC reported.

As ABC reported, police believe that Burleigh was killed in Philadelphia before she was taken to Paupack, located some 25 miles east of Scranton. The woman’s body was found at a relative of Hupperterz.

It’s unclear if Hupperterz has an attorney, according to court documents.

The Inquirer reported that a neighbor heard a commotion at his apartment in Philadelphia on Thursday. Blood was found at the apartment, and police also found 10 to 15 pillow case-size bags of marijuana and about $20,000 in cash there. Police found the woman’s body on a lakefront property belonging to Hupperterz’s grandmother in Paupack.

Authorities think that Burleigh was murdered in Philadelphia before her body was transported to the Jenkintown home and then to Wayne County, 6ABC reported.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Jenna’s family and her classmates, both here at Temple and at Montgomery County Community College,” Temple University President Richard Englert said in a statement. He said that Burleigh had transferred from Montgomery County Community College a week ago.

“Our Beautiful Angel Jenna is now in Heaven,” Burleigh’s father, Edward, wrote Saturday evening on Facebook. “Now I know for sure that you can have a ‘broken heart’ RIP honey.”

Burleigh was a junior studying film and media arts, Temple spokesman Ray Bentzner told NBC10.

“She literally started classes on Monday,” Betzner told the news outlet.

The university is asking anyone with details on the crime to contact Temple police at 215-204-1234. The university’s confidential tip line can be reached at 215-204-6493.