Coroner releases cause of death for Temple student

- A Wayne County coroner has determined the cause of death for Jenna Burleigh, the formerly missing Temple University student whose body was discovered on Saturday. Burleigh's cause of death has been ruled "Combined Effects of Blunt Trauma and Strangulation." The manner of her death has been ruled a homicide.

Burleigh, 22, was reported missing by the Lower Salford Police Department after she was last seen near an off-campus bar early Thursday morning.

On Saturday night, her father took to Facebook, saying the following, "Our beautiful angel Jenna is now in Heaven. Now I know for sure that you can have a "broken heart" RIP honey."

Philadelphia police held a press conference on the investigation involving Burleigh at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday.

At the press conference, police said that Burleigh's body was found on the property of the person of interest.

The person of interest was identified as 29-year-old Joshua Hupperterz. He was charged with murder, abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence and related charges. 

Temple University officials said Hupperterz attended Temple from Spring 2014 through Spring 2017 and had junior status.

Based on investigations, police say that her body was transported from Philadelphia to his grandmother's residence in Wayne County. 

Earlier in the day, a police source told FOX 29 that foul play was suspected in her disappearance. 

Burleigh was last seen in the area of Pub Webb on the 1500 block of Cecil B Moore Avenue around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Late Friday night, police responded to a home on the 1700 block of North 16th Street, nearly a block from where Burleigh was last seen.

Police told FOX 29 they did send cadaver dogs into the home, but the dogs did not find anything.

Burleigh, a Harleysville resident, was a junior transfer student at Temple University.

Temple’s student run newspaper, The Temple News, reported that Burleigh’s family went to the university’s police department Thursday night to report her missing.

Temple University President Richard M. Englert released the following statement in the wake of the incident:

"The Temple University family was deeply saddened today to learn of the death of Jenna Burleigh, 22, of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, who transferred to Temple this week.

Police on Saturday arrested Josh Hupperterz, 29, of Hawley, Pennsylvania, and expect  to charge him in Jenna's death. Hupperterz is a former Temple student. An investigation continues with police from Temple, the city of Philadelphia, and other departments.

Jenna joined the Temple community just this week as a junior transfer student from Montgomery County Community College, majoring in film and media arts. Our deepest sympathies go out to Jenna's family and her classmates, both here at Temple and at Montgomery County Community College.

This is a tragic event, and anyone in the Temple community could be deeply touched by it. We want to remind you that Tuttleman Counseling Services is available on Main Campus, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by calling 215-204-7276. After regular business hours, for psychiatric emergency services 24 hours a day, contact Temple's Crisis Response Center at Episcopal Hospital at 215-707-2577 or contact Campus Safety Services at 215-204-1234. Students who require assistance off-campus should dial 911.

As always, students should call Campus Safety Services at 215-204-1234 from off campus or 1-1234 from campus if they feel unsafe for any reason."

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories