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Pa. teen killed 13-year-old girl, sent Instagram video asking for help hiding body, police say

LEVITTOWN, Pa. – Police in Pennsylvania arrested a 16-year-old on murder charges after investigators said he shot a teenage girl at his home, then asked an acquaintance to help him dispose of the body, according to court records.

Joshua "Ash" Cooper, 16, of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, was arraigned as an adult late Friday night on charges of homicide, possession of an instrument of a crime and tampering with evidence, according to court records. He was being held without bail.

Police said the investigation began when a woman dialed 911 on Friday afternoon to report a possible homicide, saying that her daughter received an Instagram video chat from Cooper where he claimed to have killed someone. The mother described Cooper as an acquaintance of her daughter.

Joshua "Ash" Cooper allegedly told Bensalem police that he accidentally shot his 13-year-old friend killing her on Nov. 25, 2022.
Joshua "Ash" Cooper allegedly told Bensalem police that he accidentally shot his 13-year-old friend killing her on Nov. 25, 2022.

During the Instagram video chat, police said Cooper flipped the video image and showed the legs and feet of someone covered in blood, according to a probable cause affidavit. Cooper then asked the girl to help him get rid of the body.

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When police went to Cooper's home, investigators said they saw Cooper run out the back of his trailer.

When police entered the home, they saw a teenage girl on the bathroom floor dead of an apparent gunshot, according to the affidavit. They also found indications that “substantial steps” were taken to clean up the crime scene, the affidavit said.

Cooper was taken into custody a short time after he was spotted in the area.

According to court documents, Cooper told the girl that the shooting was an accident.

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Police said the victim was a 13-year-old girl who was not related to Cooper, according to William McVey, the director of public safety in Bensalem. He did not identify or release the victim's name.

She suffered one gunshot to the chest, and McVey said there was not a clear motive for the shooting. Police are continuing their investigation. The gun was found inside the mobile home, and police are investigating who owned the weapon and how Cooper had access to it.

Authorities did find a gun safe and an empty holster in Cooper's trailer, according to court documents.

McVey thanked the girl who alerted her parents of the Instagram video for her actions, which he said helped the investigation and the quick apprehension of Cooper.

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Teen asked for help on Instagram after killing 13-year-old, police say