Man confesses to slayings of three found in burning Texas dumpster



A suspect has confessed in connection to the three dismembered bodies found inside a burning dumpster last week – as well as two other homicides, police said Tuesday.

Jason Alan Thornburg, a 41-year-old electrician’s apprentice, admitted his involvement in the deaths of the three people found in the burning dumpster early Wednesday in Fort Worth, police told reporters at a news conference.

Police Chief Neil Noakes said the gruesome triple homicide crime scene was “not something anyone should ever have to see” while praising investigators for arresting a suspect within a week.

“This was shocking, it’s unsettling and we knew bringing someone to justice in the case was paramount,” Noakes said.

Homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said firefighters found the three dismembered bodies after putting out the burning dumpster near a business in the 3100 block of Bonnie Drive. Police said the victims initially appeared to be that of a child, a young female and a man, but investigators have since identified them as two women and a man.

Jason Alan Thornburg
Jason Alan Thornburg reportedly told police he committed the grisly crime.
Fort Worth Police Department

The male victim has been identified as David Lueras, 42, who is known to frequent the Dallas area and has ties to Euless, where Thornburg was arrested Monday on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons, Loughman said.

Video surveillance from the scene led investigators to a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by the suspect, later identified as Thornburg, by requesting all information regarding 2005-2010 models in Dallas and Tarrant counties.

Once reviewing the list of more than 7,000 vehicles, Thornburg’s name came up. He was known to the department due to a suspicious death investigation from May, Loughman said.

Cops had no probable cause to arrest Thornburg in that case, but managed to track his Jeep Cherokee to a residence in Arlington. Investigators then located him at a hotel in Euless, where they got video surveillance showing a guest exiting a room at the Mid City Inn with bins containing suspected body parts of the victims, Loughman said.

“That subject made multiple trips to and from that location to add additional items to the back of his car,” Loughman said.

Thornburg left the residence in Arlington Monday afternoon and was met by Fort Worth detectives who asked him to speak with them. He agreed to an interview and admitted his involvement in the deaths of the three victims inside the dumpster.

Thornburg gave “intimate details” as to how he killed the victims, which Loughman said he couldn’t provide due to the ongoing investigation.

Thornburg also admitted to a prior homicide in May and that he killed another woman in another state. Loughman declined to provide additional details, saying authorities in the unnamed jurisdiction would need to give out more information.

David Lueras was one of the victims of the crime.
David Lueras was one of the victims of the crime.
Fort Worth Police Department
Firefighters had found the three victims as they were putting out the dumpster fire.

A search of the motel room where Thornburg was staying is ongoing, Loughman said. Thornburg was later charged with multiple counts of capital murder and arrested without incident in Euless. He remains held on $1 million bond at the Tarrant County jail.

Lueras had been staying with Thornburg at the Mid City Inn for several days prior to the killing, but he only knew the female victims “casually,” Loughman said, who declined to provide a motive in the slayings.

“I really couldn’t even go into the psyche of someone that is able to do this,” Loughman said.


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