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September 07, 2017

Report: Father of Temple homicide suspect was killed in unsolved shooting

Old newspaper accounts note mysterious discovery of body in 1993

Investigations Homicide
Jenna Burleigh and Joshua Hupperterz Philadelphia Police Department/

Joshua Hupperterz (right), 29, was charged in the murder of Jenna Burleigh (left), 22, who disappeared after last being seen near Temple University's campus around 2 a.m. Thursday. Police said Saturday night that Hupperterz confessed to "elements of the crime."

The 29-year-old man charged in last week's homicide of Temple University junior Jenna Burleigh reportedly lost his own father in a Philadelphia shooting that remains unsolved nearly 25 years later. 

Joshua Hupperterz was arrested over the holiday weekend after investigators found Burleigh's body at a lakefront property belonging to his grandmother, about 140 miles north of Philadelphia in Hawley, Wayne County.

Police had spotted the Burleigh and Hupperterz together on surveillance footage as they left a bar near Temple's campus after midnight on Sept. 1. 

An archived report from the Philadelphia Inquirer indicates that the suspect's father, Octavio Hupperterz, was found dead on Jan. 21, 1993 at the Altomare Sewer Brick Contracting Company, formerly located along Queen Street in Springfield, Montgomery County, according to NBC10

Then 32, Hupperterz had been shot in the back of the head with his hands tied behind his back. His body was reportedly shoved in a garbage bag. 

Joshua Hupperterz was 4 years old at the time of the incident.

Investigators believe his father had been living Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood but was killed and later dumped at the Springfield location. He had previously survived a gunshot wound in Oct. 1989 while returning home from work at a Center City restaurant, according to a separate Inquirer report. 

A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney's office stopped short of calling Hupperterz's death a cold case. 

Court records show Joshua Hupperterz had committed several crimes between 2011-2013. He transferred to Temple from Lackawanna college in 2014 and was a junior during the Spring 2017 semester. 

Investigators are still working to determine a motive in Burleigh's killing and continue to search for anyone else who may have been involved in the crime. 

Burleigh, a commuter student from Harleysville, Montgomery County, was honored Thursday afternoon with a service and vigil at Temple's North Philadelphia campus.

Viewings are set from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Williams-Bergey-Koffel Funeral Home in Franconia Township and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Maria Goretti Church in Hatfield. A subsequent funeral mass will be held there at 11 a.m.


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