Recovering addict accused of abusing woman's corpse

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Sara Zghoul and Jeremiah Johnson were both allegedly trying to get away from drugs. Now she's dead and he is accused in her murder. (KTRK)

Investigators say a scream behind a man's home allegedly led officers to find a woman's body inside his car.

There are very few details in how the 28-year-old woman was killed.

Police in Oregon said a neighbor made the call to 911 that brought officers to Jeremiah Johnston's home, KPTV reports.

Several screams reported from behind Johnston's home motivated the neighbor to pick up the phone, police said.

Sara Zghoul's body was allegedly found inside Johnston's black BMW, a vehicle friend Chase Haverfield said seemingly disappeared in the days following her death.

Johnston, 35, is now facing charges for murder and the abuse of a corpse, which means he is suspected of engaging in sexual activity with the corpse or dismembering, mutilating, cutting or striking the corpse.

"I was absolutely blown away," Haverfield said, after learning the charges.

Haverfield said he knew both Johnston and Zghoul because they were working to overcome past drug addictions.

In fact, the murder victim and her alleged killer only lived a mile apart.

Their friend said he didn't know the pair socialized with each other, because he never saw the two together.

Two days before Zghoul's body was found, Haverfield said he met up with Johnston for a bite to eat.

On this outing, he showed up in a car he'd never seen before.

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

Days later, the same BMW was on the news after officers discovered Zghoul's body.

Now Haverfield is left to wonder if there were any missing red flags.

Johnston is behind bars, and being held without bail.

Related Topics:
u.s. & worldmurderhomicide investigationwoman killedbody founddead bodyarrestdrug addictiondrugs