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.