A Pennsylvania teenager reportedly confessed to a friend in an Instagram video call that he had just killed someone and needed help disposing of the body, authorities say.
Police in Bensalem, 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia, said in a statement that the 16-year-old suspect flipped the screen to show his friend the blood-covered legs and feet of an apparent victim of ‘homicide.
The friend told her mother, who called 911 shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. Bensalem Police Department officers said they identified the suspect as Joshua Cooper.
When they arrived at the suspect’s address at Top of the Ridge Trailer Park on the 1400 block of Gibson Road in Bensalem, Mr. Cooper fled through the back of the trailer, police said in a statement.
Upon entering the property, they found a 13-year-old girl dead on the bathroom floor from a gunshot wound and evidence that “substantial steps” had been taken to clean up the crime scene.
Mr Cooper was apprehended in a wooded area on Newport Mews Drive and Groton Drive shortly after, police said.
Mr Cooper was charged as an adult with homicide, possession of instruments of a crime and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
The Philadelphia Investigator reported that officers found a gun safe and holster with a missing pistol in a bedroom, citing a police affidavit.
Mr Cooper allegedly told police the shooting “was an accident”, according to the affidavit.
He said that on the morning of the shooting, he gained access to his father’s gun safe by disabling the locks.
The 13-year-old victim was dropped off in his trailer and the couple watched Netflix. At one point, she went to use the bathroom alone, Mr Cooper told investigators, according to the affidavit.
Mr Cooper’s mother later ended the interview with the policeThe inspector declared.
He was denied bail in an arraignment on Friday and was sent to the Edison Juvenile Detention Center, police said.
The identity of the victim has not yet been released.
Police praised the actions of the teenager who reported the video call to her mother.
The Independent Gt