Man accused of murder and abusing corpse

Abuse of a corpse and murder – those are the gruesome charges an Aloha man faces after the body of a young mother w...

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 8:08 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 8:08 AM

Abuse of a corpse and murder – those are the gruesome charges an Aloha man faces after the body of a young mother was discovered inside a BMW last week.

According to deputies, 35-year-old Jeremiah Johnston of Aloha was booked into jail Wednesday. The convicted felon has a long list of drug charges.

Johnston is now being held in jail without bail. He's accused of killing 28-year-old Sara Zghoul. Her body was found inside a car in Aloha Thursday night.

FOX 12 spoke with a friend of the suspected killer, who was blindsided by the heavy accusations against Johnston.

"I knew him very well, we lived in a same close vicinity every day," said Chase Haverfield.

Haverfield told FOX 12 that he spent five months in prison with Jeremiah "Jeremy" Johnston. Haverfield said the two graduated together from a drug and alcohol recovery program.

"You get to know someone on a whole other level than you would out here in the real world – it's different, you get to know who someone truly is," said Haverfield.

Haverfield said he thought Johnston was a good guy. He said Johnston was soft-spoken and a father to a little girl.

"Crazy things happen in the drug world, we were all recovering and we've been through that so I don't know if that has a play in it," said Haverfield.

After being released from prison, Haverfield got a new job, and that's where he met Sara Zghoul.

"We were both in recovery, so we hung out all the time. She was a sweet girl, had a beautiful soul," said Haverfield.

Haverfield said he knew Johnston and Zghoul were both recovering addicts and lived within a mile of each other, but he never saw the two together.

"I had no idea that they would know each other. I saw him literally last Tuesday, I think Sara was found on Thursday," said Haverfield.

Two days before Zghoul's body was found in a BMW, Haverfield said he saw Johnston. The two met up for a bite to eat.

"He was acting quiet and a little weird," said Haverfield.

Haverfield also noticed Johnston wasn't driving his normal car.

"It was really weird because he usually has a black BMW. I know he cherished that car, he really liked it," said Haverfield.

Days later, Haverfield said his friend's BMW was all over the news, the center of a gruesome death investigation.

"I was absolutely blown away," said Haverfield.

One of the charges Johnston faces is abuse of a corpse. That means the suspected killer is also accused of engaging in sexual activity with a corpse, or, dismembering, mutilating, cutting or striking the corpse.

"If he would have got the help, then maybe she wouldn't be dead right now. I can't believe our world even has that in it," said Haverfield.

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