35-year-old Jeremiah Ward Johnston [photo], an ex-con with multiple drug convictions has been arrested in the death and dismemberment of model Sara Zghoul who was found stuffed into two suitcases in a black BMW, which was found parked near the home of his mother’s home in Aloha, Oregon on Thursday
A 35-year-old Aloha resident Jeremiah “Jeremy” Johnston was identified as the suspect in the gruesome murder of an Aloha, Oregon, woman whose dismembered body was found Thursday.
Reports about the identity of the alleged killer were revealed Sunday, two days after the suspect was taken into custody, in connection with the death of Sara Zghoul whose remains were found stuffed into two suitcases in a black BMW sedan, parked near the home of the suspect’s mother.
Police found Zghoul’s remains after getting a tip “regarding a possible homicide where the victim’s body had been left inside a vehicle,” local ABC- station KATU-TV reported.
Remains of Aloha, Oregon woman Sara Zghoul, found in two suitcases in parked BMW
The body of 28-year-old model Sara Zghoul was found stuffed into two suitcases in a black BMW, which was found parked near the home of Johnston’s mother’s home in Aloha, Oregon on Thursday
Johnston, a convicted felon recently released from prison and on probation for another drug charge, attempted to tried to slash his throat and wrists when police tried to arrest him Thursday, law enforcement sources reportedly said. He was hospitalized and remained under observation as of Monday. The suspect is yet to be charged in the murder of Zghoul.
Johnston has a lengthy criminal record in Oregon with multiple drug convictions dating back to 2014. In July 2015, Johnston was sentenced in Washington Circuit Court to 23 months in prison for delivery of cocaine, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, court records show. He was released from prison in May 2017, but again arrested in August 2017 in Multnomah County, Oregon, and charged with cocaine possession.
Friends remember Sara Zghoul as a good mother and a happy, outgoing personality
In September, he pled guilty and was sentenced to a year and a half of probation and entered a drug treatment program, after he revealed to jail staff that he had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and had been taking antidepressant medication.
Zghoul’s untimely death shocked her friends, who remembered the 28-year-old. one friend on Facebook wrote: “I wish I could’ve been there to protect you because this would’ve never happened! Praying for you and your family. Go with God and rest in His loving arms..” Another wrote: “#rip your a beautiful angel up above.”
Jessica Winters, a friend, told Fox 12 she was in shock, saying: “I’m just like comprehending everything. She was so outgoing, she walks in a room and you just have to be happy.”
This BWW sedan was found parked near Johnston’s mother’s home. Acting on a tip police found Sarah’s dismembered body stuffed in two suitcases in the car in Aloha, Oregon on Jan 25
Police are yet to determine the relationship between Johnston and Zghoul, and a possible reason for the murder, but public records show the houses belonging to their families are a half-mile from each other in Aloha.
After one of his arrest, in August for cocaine possession in Multnomah County, at the time he testified that he had been released from prison three months earlier and was living with his mother at a home in the 8000 block of Southwest 166th Place in Aloha.
According to reports, Johnston attended Aloha High School and worked as a customer service representative at Wells Fargo from 2005 to 2007 and as a mortgage loan officer at Bank of America from 2007 to 2012.
Police forensic investigators spent Saturday combing the home of Johnston’s mother, the suspect’s last known address.
Zghoul’s family originally came from Jordan to U.S. Jordanian news outlets on Monday reported that the Zghoul tribe in Ajloun, a town in north Jordan, had released a statement on behalf of the Zghoul family.
The family demanded swift justice for the crime. They have asked the Jordanian government to follow up with U.S. investigators. The statement says Zghoul was married, and that neither she nor her husband have had enemies in the U.S.