Fort Worth Police arrested a man on Monday for killing three people that were found burned in a dumpster.
Jason Alan Thornburg, 41, admitted to killing a man and two women in a hotel room over the course of approximately five days and then disposing of their bodies in a dumpster before eventually setting the dumpster on fire.
One of the victims has been identified as 42-year-old David Lueras.
After initially saying the other two victims found in the dumpster were an unknown adult female and a child, police said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that they were both adult women and that they may be close to confirming their identities.
Fort Worth police said Tuesday that video surveillance near the dumpster showed the person they believe dumped the bodies was driving a 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Police said there are roughly 7,000 of those vehicles in North Texas, but that a detective noticed specific chrome rims and accents on one that looked similar to the one seen in the video near the dumpster. That SUV, a 2008 Grand Cherokee, was owned by Thornburg.
According to the arrest affidavit, Thornburg told police that he had an "in-depth knowledge of the Bible and believed that he was being called to commit sacrifices."
Detectives said Tuesday that Thornburg, who worked as an electrician, was also a person of interest in the suspicious death of his roommate, 61-year-old Mark Jewell, whose body was found inside their burning home on Valentine Street (Fort Worth) on May 21. The medical examiner's office was not able to determine the man's cause of death due to the explosion in the home. Though he was investigated at the time, officials said they didn't have probable cause to arrest him.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, detectives approached Thornburg as he left the residence in Arlington and asked if he'd consent to a voluntary interview. He agreed, and during that interview, police said, Thornburg admitted his involvement in the deaths of the people found in the dumpster as well as the man who was found after the fire on Valentine Street. Thornburg also admitted to killing his girlfriend in Arizona. He viewed the two additional killings as "sacrifices".
Thornburg is currently being held in jail in Tarrant County, Texas, on a $1 million bond.
Police said Jason Alan Thornburg, 41, admitted to killing a man and two women in a hotel room over the course of approximately five days and then disposing of their bodies in a dumpster before eventually setting the dumpster on fire, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. While it's not clear how Lueras and Thornburg knew each other, police said Tuesday that the men shared the same room at the Mid City Inn for several days, presumably until Lueras was killed.
On Sept. 22 at 6:17 a.m., the Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a report of a dumpster fire outside of a business located in the 3100 block of Bonnie Drive. During the process of extinguishing the fire, three bodies were discovered inside the dumpster. The Fort Worth Homicide unit responded to the scene and has learned the following information:
- The bodies appeared to be that of an unknown child, a young teenage or adult female, and an adult male.
- The bodies were burned and heavily dismembered and there are body parts unaccounted for.
- The adult male has been tentatively identified as David Lueras, 42. He is known to frequent the Dallas area and has some ties to the Hurst, Euless and Bedford area.
The dismembered condition of the bodies is making the identification process difficult.
Identifying the perpetrators and suspects of this triple murder is the primary goal of this investigation. The Fort Worth Police Department’s Homicide Unit is requesting public assistance in this investigation; any information related to a missing person or persons fitting the description of the victims is appreciated.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective M. Barron at 817-392-4339 or Detective T. O’Brien at 817-392-4338. Callers can also contact the homicide unit directly at 817-392-4330. Callers can also remain anonymous by contacting CrimeStoppers at 817-469-8477.