Published:Septwember 28, 2021
Police in Fort Worth, Texas, say that a man has confessed to killing and dismembering three people found in a burning dumpster, and he allegedly said they were “human sacrifices.”
Homicide detectives were called to investigate after firefighters put out a dumpster fire and found three “heavily dismembered” corpses inside on Wednesday morning.
The bodies were so heavily dismembered, and missing body parts, that police said they were difficult to identify.
Investigators say they identified a suspect after reports of a Jeep Grand Cherokee near the site of the crime scene. They cross-referenced nearly 7,000 similar vehicles in the area and noted that the man who owned the same kind of vehicle was a person of interest in another suspicious death from May.
Police said they obtained surveillance video showing the 41-year-old suspect, Jason Alan Thornburg, loading and unloading containers into the Jeep at a motel in the city of Euless.
They also obtained surveillance video showing Thornburg dumping the body parts from the plastic containers that were in his Jeep into the dumpster where they were later found. He also reportedly lit the dumpster on fire in the video.
Police said when they traced down Thornburg he showed up to a police station to confess to the crimes and offered “intimate details” of the murders.
Officials said that Thornburg had stayed in the motel room for about five days with one of the victims, later identified as 42-year-old David Lueras. Thornburg reportedly admitted to killing Lueras and two women who had visited him at the motel. Lueras had been identified through tattoos found on the dismembered body parts.
Thornburg then admitted to two other murders, police said.
One of those was the death of his 60-year-old roommate under suspicious circumstances in May. He reportedly told police he killed the man as a “sacrifice” and then uncapped a natural gas line to start a fire and cover up the crime.
Thornburg also reportedly confessed to killing his girlfriend in Arizona. Officials said she had been reported missing.
“This case was shocking and unsettling, and we knew bringing someone to justice in this case was paramount,” said Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes in a media briefing Tuesday.
People who lived at the motel told KTVT-TV that Thornburg was religious and that they often saw him sitting outside reading his Bible.
Officials are scouring other missing persons reports to see if he might be involved in other crimes.
Here’s more about the shocking serial murder case: