PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A neighbor of a man charged with killing a Temple University student says she heard screams that reminded her of a horror movie the night the woman disappeared.
Noelle Sterling testified at a preliminary hearing Wednesday that she called police in the early morning hours of Aug. 31 after hearing banging noises in her north Philadelphia apartment building, Philly.com reports .
Temple police spoke to her but soon left, she said. A short while later, she heard shrieks.
“I don’t think I got to sleep before the screaming started,” she said.
Days later, Sterling’s downstairs neighbor, 29-year-old Joshua Hupperterz, was charged with murder in the death of Jenna Burleigh. The 22-year-old’s body was found Sept. 2 on property belonging to Hupperterz’s grandmother about 140 miles north of Philadelphia.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Hupperterz’s cousin, Erik Carlsen, testified that he found Hupperterz cleaning up blood inside his apartment on the afternoon of Aug. 31. He said Hupperterz’s right hand was bleeding, which he attributed to an injury that occurred while he was drunk.
Carlsen and two other men testified that they separately helped Hupperterz transport a heavy storage bin, which he said was filled with books or clothes. Avery Tucker, a Lyft driver, said he drove Hupperterz to the Poconos and helped him unload the bin at a home there. Burleigh’s naked body was found later inside such a container.
She had suffered more than 140 injuries to her heads and legs, a prosecutor said. The Wayne County coroner ruled that she died from blunt trauma and strangulation.
Hupperterz’s lawyer says his client apparently had consensual sex with Burleigh at his apartment, but it’s unclear what else happened.
Hupperterz was held for trial on charges including murder and abuse of a corpse.