Bensalem Teen Charged with Murder

On Friday, November 25th at 4:11 pm, the Bensalem Police Department received a 911 call about a possible homicide. The caller stated that her daughter received an Instagram video call from a 16-year-old acquaintance. During the video call, the 16-year-old confessed to having just killed someone. He then flipped the video image and showed the legs and feet of someone covered in blood. After the call, he texted the caller’s daughter asking that she come help him clean up the scene and get rid of the body.

Bensalem Police were told the 16-year-old, lived in Top of the Ridge Trailer Park located at 1446 Gibson Rd. When police units went to check the property, a juvenile male ran out of the back of the trailer. He would later be stopped and taken into custody in the wooded area around Newport Mews and Groton Dr., and later identified as Joshua Cooper. According to neighbors Cooper and his father had moved into the park just six months prior.

Officers that entered the mobile home on Gibson Rd, found a 13-year-old girl dead on the bathroom floor with an apparent gunshot wound. There were also indications that substantial steps were taken to clean up the crime scene.

The 13-year-old girl’s identity had not been released as of the time of this writing. Her family members identified her by the jewelry she was wearing at the time of her death, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Following his arrest, police interviewed 16-year-old Cooper and his mother at the Bensalem Township Police Department where Cooper told investigators that on the morning of the killing, he was cleaning out his father’s safe, removing and reorganizing the firearms and sorting the ammunition inside it, according to the affidavit.

The safe was accessed “by replacing the batteries that his father had removed, which had made the combination lock inoperable,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also stated that the victim had texted Cooper on Friday morning and was dropped off at his home after Cooper had finished reorganizing his father’s safe and firearms. The two teens stayed at Cooper’s home Friday afternoon and watched a Netflix series.

Joshua Cooper would tell investigators that at some point during the afternoon, the victim left the area where they were watching TV to use the bathroom and that Cooper did not accompany her. It would be shortly after that statement, Cooper and his mother ended the interview with authorities, according to the affidavit.

Police have yet to determine the motive for the crime.

Joshua Cooper is being charged as an adult with the following crimes: Criminal Homicide, Possessing Instruments of Crime, and Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence.

He was arraigned by District Justice Wertman, denied bail, and sent to the Edison Juvenile Detention Center.

Pennsylvania law requires juveniles to be charged as adults for homicide and other violent crimes.

Update: Joshua Cooper, now known as Ash Cooper has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence on Thursday, March 21, 2024, and was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in state prison.

 

 

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