Man arrested after dismembered bodies found in dumpster – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

What there is to know

  • Jason Thornburg confessed to five murders in an interview with detectives and said three occurred in several days in an Euless Motel room, Fort Worth police said.
  • Thornburg told police he had a thorough knowledge of the Bible and had been called upon to make sacrifices, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
  • Thornburg also admitted to police that he killed his Fort Worth roommate in May and a girlfriend in Arizona.

A man arrested Monday night and charged with the deaths of three people whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster last week has been linked to two more murders and confessed to the murders, saying he was making a sacrifice biblical.

Jason Alan Thornburg, 41, was taken to Tarrant County Jail around 11:30 p.m. Monday on a charge of the capital murder of multiple people. He is currently being held in prison on $ 1 million bond. It is not known whether he obtained a lawyer.


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Jason Alan Thornburg, passport photo, inset.

Fort Worth firefighters were called in last Wednesday about a dumpster fire on the city’s West Side. After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters made a gruesome discovery when they spotted the burnt and dismembered remains of three people inside the trash can.

One of the victims had several distinctive tattoos and was identified as David Lueras, 42, a man who police say had a long criminal record and had ties to Dallas County and the Northeast. of Tarrant County.

After initially claiming that the other two victims found in the dumpster were an unknown adult female and a child, police said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that they were both adult women and that ‘they could be about to confirm their identity.

Fort Worth Police said Tuesday that CCTV near the dumpster showed the person they said dumped the bodies was driving a 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Police said there were around 7,000 of these vehicles in North Texas, but a detective noticed specific chrome rims and accents on the one that looked like the one seen in the video near the dumpster at garbage. This SUV, a 2008 Grand Cherokee, was owned by Thornburg.

hostel in the middle of town


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Fort Worth Police at the Mid City Inn on Euless Boulevard, where sources say a man killed three people before cutting up their bodies and setting them on fire in a dumpster. Photo taken September 28, 2021.

Detectives said Tuesday that Thornburg, who worked as an electrician, was a person of interest in the suspicious death of his roommate, Mark Jewell, 61, whose body was found inside their burning house on Valentine. Street on May 21. The examiner’s office was unable to determine the man’s cause of death due to the explosion in the house. Although he was under investigation at the time, officials said they had no probable reason to arrest him.

Using GPS data, homicide detectives located Thornburg’s SUV at a residence in Arlington and learned that it had recently been staying at the Mid City Inn since June 28.

Police said on Tuesday that homicide detectives obtained surveillance footage from the motel that showed a guest exiting a room carrying large trash cans that police believed contained the dismembered remains of the three victims. Police said the motel guest made multiple trips from the room to the car and from the motel to the dumpster.

Police said the time between when the trash cans were loaded into the SUV in Euless and when they were thrown into the dumpster at West Fort Worth is lining up.

At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, detectives approached Thornburg as he was leaving the residence in Arlington and asked if he would consent to a voluntary interview. He agreed, and during that interview, police said, Thornburg admitted involvement in the deaths of those found in the dumpster as well as the man who was found after the Valentine Street fire.

Police said Tuesday that Thornburg shared gruesome details about the crimes that would only be known to one person involved in the deaths. Authorities added that the murders in the motel room apparently took place over several days and the remains were stored in plastic bags until they were transferred to the containers.

According to the affidavit of his arrest warrant, in his confession, Thornburg said he had a deep knowledge of the Bible and believed he was called to make sacrifices.

In the arrest document, he also allegedly admitted to killing a girlfriend in Arizona. Fort Worth said they were contacting authorities there, but did not reveal any further details about the murder.

hostel in the middle of town


NBC 5 News

Fort Worth Police at the Mid City Inn on Euless Boulevard, where sources say a man killed three people before cutting up their bodies and setting them on fire in a dumpster. Photo taken September 28, 2021.

While it’s not clear how Lueras and Thornburg knew each other, police said on Tuesday the men had shared the same room at the Mid City Inn for several days, possibly until Lueras was killed.

Fort Worth Police served a search warrant at the motel on Tuesday morning. Police said they recovered a knife from the Thornburg motel room.

Officials said Thornburg did not have a particularly violent criminal history. He was sentenced in the city of Rhome in 2018 for evading arrest, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, and was released on parole in June 2020. Wise County District Attorney James Stainton has said Rhome police attempted to stop Thornburg on the US highway. 287 for a broken tail light and he fled the officers. He was sentenced to two years in prison on the basis of his criminal history, Stainton said.

Life in Thornburg, Arizona

Arizona court records show Thornburg was arrested for hijacking a woman who was arrested at a red light in Tucson in May 2014.

After his arrest, he claimed he was under the influence of alcohol, was going through a divorce and had an argument with his girlfriend, according to the documents.

“I was emotional, not in my good way,” he said.

He said he was raised by his mother and grandmother after his parents divorced when he was 1 and moved into foster care when he was 10. He dropped out of high school but then got his GED, he said.

Thornburg was sentenced to nine months in prison with 98 days credit for the time he has already served.

At the time, court records show he had already been arrested for three misdemeanors and one drug-related crime.

While records at the time showed no reported mental health issues, licensed professional counselor Anna Arwine says that in serial cases like this, it is not uncommon to see a history of mental illness. .

“As a therapist, someone must have seen something, somewhere down the road must have thought, this is just not normal behavior. Or that statement they made, it was a little wrong. It’s the first thing that comes to my mind, ”said Arvin. “Are there really any mental health issues involved in this case? And if so, what impact does this have on the case and what can we learn from it?

A man arrested Monday night and charged with the deaths of three people whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster last week has been linked to two more murders and confessed to the murders, saying he was making a sacrifice biblical. Scott Gordon reports.


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