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Coroner Rules Once-Missing Temple Student Was Murdered By Strangulation, Blunt Trauma

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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A coroner ruled Sunday that the once-missing 22-year-old Temple student, Jenna Burleigh, died of blunt force trauma and strangulation.

Burleigh’s father reported her disappearance early Thursday morning, and the public was notified Friday. She was last seen at a bar around 2 a.m. Thursday, according to 6abc. Her body was eventually found Saturday in Wayne County, Pa., an area east of Scranton and far away from Philadelphia where Temple is located.

Police charged Joshua Hupperterz, 29, with murder early Sunday, and believe the two didn’t know each other until they met at the pub.

Authorities contacted Hupperterz prior to issuing charges to see if he knew of Burleigh’s whereabouts.

“Hupperterz informed him [investigator] that he had been so drunk when he left the bar he had no recollection of who he had been with,” police said in a statement, according to 6abc.

Police believe Hupperterz transported Burleigh’s body with a vehicle operated by the ride-sharing company Lyft.

“The allegations are devastating,” a Lyft representative said, according to 6abc. “We stand ready to work with the authorities in their investigation.”

Hupperterz’s roommate allegedly told police he arrived at home at some point with cleaning products. Police also found blood, and large amounts of drugs and cash at his residence, according to Philly.com.

Investigators allege that he has so far admitted to certain elements of the crime, but not all aspects. Along with murder, he is also being charged with abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and possession of an instrument of crime.

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

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