The search for Temple University student Jenna Burleigh ended in tragedy recently when her body was discovered at a home belonging to the grandmother of Joshua Hupperterz, former Temple student and Burleigh’s accused killer. Now, Hupperterz is maintaining his innocence, saying he never harmed Jenna in any way.
Jenna Burleigh apparently met Hupperterz at a North Philadelphia bar earlier this month. They were shown on surveillance camera leaving the bar together, and Jenna’s family reported her missing the next day when she didn’t show up for one of her first classes of the semester and did not respond to calls or texts from family and friends. The police were led to the house of Hupperterz, where they found large quantities of drugs, money believed to be from the sale of drugs, and traces of blood that Hupperterz had attempted to clean up.
The cause of death was found to be blunt force trauma and strangulation. Hupperterz is denying that he is the killer. A preliminary hearing has been postponed. Although he admitted to involvement in the crime, he says he was extremely intoxicated when he left the bar and does not remember who he was with.
It has now also been revealed that Jenna sent messages to friends asking for help shortly before her murder. She had been at the bar where she met Hupperterz with two friends, but they tell police that they left to go to a restaurant. Jenna chose to stay behind. It was then that she left a voicemail and a text to one friend, and sent a message to another friend through Instagram. Both messages were asking the friends to help her, although police have not revealed if Jenna knew that she was in danger when she left the messages. The messages were not received by her friends until late the next morning after Jenna was killed.
It is not clear why Hupperterz is admitting to being involved, yet denies harming the victim. Police have not indicated if they believe anyone else was involved in the crime.