A 22-year-old college student from Pennsylvania was reportedly found slain on Saturday after last having been spotted leaving a Philadelphia bar with the man who is suspected of killing her, authorities said.
Janna Burleigh, who studied at Temple University but commuted from nearby Lower Salford Township in Montgomery County, was reported missing Friday after she vanished from a popular bar near campus early Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The man with whom she was last seen, 29-year-old Joshua Hupperterz, confessed to “elements of the crime,” Philadelphia Police Capt. John Ryan told reporters on Saturday night, declining to provide further details. The suspect faces a slew of charges including murder and abuse of a corpse.
Burleigh’s body was reportedly found Saturday afternoon at the home of Hupperterz’s grandmother in Wayne County, Ryan revealed. Police also served a search warrant at Hupperterz’s North Philadelphia home, located around the corner from the bar where he apparently met Burleigh, and there they discovered blood and large quantities of drugs and cash.
The parents of the deceased were too grief-stricken to talk to reporters on Saturday as they gathered in a home in Harleysville, where candles were placed in the window.
“Our Beautiful Angel Jenna is now in Heaven,” Edward Burleigh, the victim’s father, posted on Facebook. “Now I know for sure that you can have a ‘broken heart’ RIP honey.”
While police have yet to determine the circumstances that led to Burleigh’s death, Ryan claimed that the killing did not seem to be premeditated. A cause of death has not yet been announced. Investigators believe that she was killed in Philadelphia before being moved to Hupperterz’s mother’s house in Jenkintown, and then again to Wayne County where it was discovered.
Burleigh was a junior transfer student from Montgomery County College who majored in film and media arts. Friends on social media remembered her as a passionate advocate for social justice who spoke out against racism and in favor of feminism and LGBT rights.