A neighbor of the suspect behind a Temple University student’s murder told a court Wednesday that she heard “horror movie” screams coming from his apartment during the late-night hours that the killing is believed to have taken place.
22-year-old Jenna Burleigh was last seen leaving a North Philadelphia bar with suspect Joshua Hupperterz at around 2:00 am on the night of her death. Her body was eventually discovered over 100 miles away in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, where Hupperterz had used a Lyft to transport Burleigh’s remains to his grandmother’s property.
Noelle Sterling, who lived next door to Hupperterz, testified that she heard upsetting sounds coming from his apartment in the early morning of August 31, the Inquirer reported. At around 2:15 am, she called the police to report the sound of footsteps in banging in the backyard of her apartment building.
She then called her mom 15 minutes later and stayed on the phone for an hour, throughout which time she could hear banging coming from the apartment above. At around 4:00 am, the sound suddenly became terrifying.
“I don’t think I got to sleep before the screaming started,” Sterling said, noting that she immediately called the police again.
“It sounded terrifying, almost like if you were in a horror movie and a girl screamed, but it was worse,” she continued. The screaming went on for about three minutes before coming to an abrupt end.
Other witnesses described how Hupperterz attempted to clean up the crime scene before pursuing the help of his cousin and a Lyft driver to transport a blue storage bin from Philadelphia to the Poconos. He told them that it was heavy because it was loaded with books.
When investigators eventually tracked the bin down on September 2 after a full day of searching, they discovered Burleigh’s naked body. She had sustained over 140 injures from her head to her legs, with the Wayne County coroner ruling that she died from blunt trauma and strangulation.