He crammed her strangled body in a bin—and took a 100-mile Lyft ride with it, police say

Police have charged Joshua Hupperterz with killing 22-year-old Philadelphia student Jenna Burleigh.
Police have charged Joshua Hupperterz with killing 22-year-old Philadelphia student Jenna Burleigh. Philadelphia Police Department

After he strangled her, he crammed her body into a bin and left his Philadelphia, Pa. apartment with the container in hand, police say.

From his apartment, he headed to his mother’s house in Jenkintown with the body, according to the Washington Post.

That’s when police say that Joshua Hupperterz, 29, pulled up the ride-hailing service Lyft on his phone and called for a car.

He then used the Lyft to transport the dead body of 22-year-old Temple University student Jenna Burleigh more than 100 miles, police say. He got out of the car at his grandmother’s lakefront house in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he tried to hide the body in a utility shed, police told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Police found Burleigh’s remains in that utility shed on Saturday afternoon.

“Our Beautiful Angel Jenna is now in Heaven,” Ed Burleigh, the victim’s father, posted on Facebook on Saturday with a picture of his daughter, according to the Washington Post. “Now I know for sure that you can a have a ‘broken heart’ RIP honey.”

Police formally charged Hupperterz with Burleigh’s death this week, the Inquirer reports.

Hupperterz was the person last seen with Burleigh, as they left a Philadelphia bar around the corner from his apartment together at about 2 a.m. on Thursday, surveillance video showed. And at 4 a.m. on Thursday, a neighbor heard screams coming from Hupperterz’ apartment, the Inquirer reports.

When they searched Hupperterz’ Philadelphia home, police say they found blood spattered across the apartment—near his sink in the kitchen, all the way to his back door, according to the New York Post. There were scratches on Hupperterz’ face and a cut on his hand when police interviewed him. He told police he sustained those injuries by breaking a bowl, according to the Inquirer.

Police also found about a dozen pillow case-sized bags filled with marijuana along with $20,000 in cash when they searched the apartment, the New York Post reports.

A Lyft spokesperson called the alleged incident “devastating” in a statement to the Inquirer, and promised the ride-hailing service would cooperate with police as the investigation continues.

Hupperterz has been held without bail. He also faces drug-related charges for the trove of marijuana found at his home.

Police say they don’t believe the victim knew the suspect before the crime occurred last week, according to the Inquirer. The coroner’s report revealed that Burleigh died of strangulation and blunt force trauma.

In 2013, Hupperterz was previously changed with burglary for breaking into a Scranton, Pa. area home and stealing a keg of beer, laundry detergent and electronics.