A Pennsylvania teen is facing criminal murder charges after he allegedly confessed to killing someone and showing the victim’s body to another teen he reached out to via an Instagram video chat.
According to a law enforcement press release, the Bensalem Police Department received a 911 call about a “possible murder” at 4:11 p.m. Friday.
“The caller stated that her daughter received an Instagram video chat from a 16-year-old friend,” police said. “During the video chat, the 16-year-old said he had just killed someone. Then he flipped the video image and showed the legs and feet of a blood-covered person.”
The 16-year-old in question was later identified as Joshua “Ash” Cooper on Gibson Road in Bensalem, police said.
After allegedly showing his victim’s girl video, Cooper asked for help disposing of the body, according to authorities.
Armed with information about the girl and her mother’s video chat, police went to Cooper’s home. When officers arrived, “a teenage male ran out of the back of the trailer,” police said.
Responding officers entered the home and found a teenage woman dead from a gunshot wound on the bathroom floor, the police press release said.
“There was also evidence that significant steps were being taken to clean up the crime scene,” police said.
Other responding officers caught the defendant near Newport Mews Drive (no, that’s not a typo) and Groton Drive, not far from his home. His arrest time is given as 4:41 p.m. – exactly half an hour after the first call.
In addition to criminal murder, Cooper, who faces charges as an adult, faces two other charges: possession of crime instruments and tampering or falsifying physical evidence.
A county judge denied bail to Cooper during an indictment. Cooper is currently being held at the Edison Juvenile Detention Center in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, police said.
The victim’s name was not released. However, citing court documents that Bucks County courier times reported Friday that the victim was a 13-year-old girl. Law enforcement told the newspaper that the victim was not a Bensalem resident and was not related to Cooper.
William McVeyBensalem’s director of public safety, the said courier times that the victim was shot once in the chest and that a possible motive for the shooting is currently unknown.
“The gun was found in the RV and police are investigating who owned the gun and how Cooper got access to it,” the newspaper noted.
A probable cause affidavit obtained from local court records courier times contained some details from police conversations with the accused.
“It was an accident,” Cooper is said to have told police about the document, according to the newspaper’s report.
Cooper also reportedly apologized to police, saying he was “going to jail for the rest of the year.” [his] Life.”
He is also said to have told police that the gun in question was in a safe and that his “father is going to kill.” [him].”
Again citing court documents, the newspaper said Cooper and his mother were questioned while Cooper was in custody. During that interview, Cooper reportedly and allegedly said that he removed “firearms” from his father’s safe while he was cleaning it. Then he started sorting ammunition.
He reportedly claimed to have gotten into the safe by “replacing the batteries that his father removed, rendering the combination lock inoperable,” the newspaper said, again citing the affidavit.
The chain of events from then on is not fully known or understood. According to the newspaper’s retelling of various court documents, the victim appears to have “texted Cooper and was taken to his home when he finished reorganizing the safe and firearms.”
The two reportedly watched Netflix together, but the victim”[a]Sometime. . . left Cooper’s room to go to the bathroom,” the newspaper said in its retelling of the footage.
Exactly what happened next is not known, as the defendant’s mother ended the police questioning, the newspaper said.
Bensalem is located in far eastern Pennsylvania between Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey.
The police are asking for information about the incident. Those with information may call Detective Ryan Kolb at (215) 633-3746 or Detective Shawn Smith at (215) 633-3687. Tips are also accepted online.
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