FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – A man has confessed to killing three people whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster in Texas, as well as his roommate and girlfriend, saying he felt compelled to sacrifice them, authorities said Tuesday.
Jason Thornburg, 41, was arrested Monday on a capital murder charge in the deaths of the three people whose bodies were found in the dumpster in Fort Worth on Sept. 22, police said.
Surveillance footage of a vehicle at the site of the burning dumpster led them to Thornburg, an electrician’s apprentice. Officers on Monday found him working in nearby Arlington, an arrest warrant said.
During an interview, Thornburg told officers that he had in-depth knowledge of the Bible and believed he was being called to “commit sacrifices,” according to the arrest warrant.
Fort Worth police said Tuesday that the bodies found in the dumpster belonged to a man and two women. Earlier, police had said they believed one of the bodies was that of a child.
Police have identified the male victim as David Lueras, 42. Police said the medical examiner would release the identifications of the women.
Thornburg, who had been staying in a motel in the Fort Worth suburb of Euless since late July, told officers that about five days before the bodies were discovered, Lueras had showed up at his motel room, the arrest warrant said. Thornburg told officers he cut Lueras’ throat and then cut him into pieces in the bathtub, the arrest warrant said.
According to the arrest warrant, about two days later he slit the throat of a woman who showed up at his motel room and two days after that, killed another woman who had come to the motel. He said he tried to stab the second woman but ended up strangling her.
Police said at a news conference that Thornburg only knew the women casually.
Police said that when they identified Thornburg as a suspect in the slayings of the three found in the dumpster, they were already familiar with him from a suspicious death investigation earlier in the year.
According to the arrest warrant, Thornburg’s roommate had been killed in a suspicious house fire on May 21. During the police interview on Monday, Thornburg told officers he had slit his roommate’s throat then uncapped a natural gas line and lit a candle. At the time, the medical examiner had not been able to determine his roommate’s cause of death.
When police asked Thornburg about any other sacrifices, he said he also sacrificed his girlfriend in Arizona, according to the arrest warrant. The arrest warrant said records show she had been reported missing.
Police did not provide additional details on her.
According to the arrest warrant, video surveillance near the dumpster shows an SUV pulling up late on the night of Sept. 21. The person in the vehicle is seen dumping the contents of containers into the dumpster. The person then returns early the following morning and makes more deposits in the dumpster, the arrest warrant said.
Also, according to the arrest affidavit, video surveillance from the motel shows a person wearing what appeared to be a full body suit taking large containers from Thornburg’s motel room and placing them in the vehicle.
Police have said firefighters discovered the bodies.
Thornburg was being held in jail on a $1 million bond. Jail records did not list an attorney for him.