For about two months, the person who stayed in Room 113 at the Mid Metropolis Inn in Euless, Texas, would sit exterior, studying the Bible and encouraging others to come back to church with him, in line with a supervisor of the motel, Kanti Gandhi.
“He was a fanatic in regards to the Bible,” Mr. Gandhi mentioned, recalling how the person, Jason Alan Thornburg, as soon as invited a girl who works at the inn at night time to come back to his room and research the Bible with him.
Now, the police say, Mr. Thornburg’s obvious fervor might have performed a job in 5 homicides that he advised detectives he had carried out. This week, he was charged with capital homicide within the killing and dismemberment of three individuals at the motel, whose stays, the police mentioned, he then burned in a dumpster.
Throughout an interview with murder detectives, Mr. Thornburg “described having an in-depth data of the Bible and believed that he was being referred to as to commit sacrifices,” in line with an arrest warrant.
Mr. Thornburg, a 41-year-old electrician’s apprentice, additionally advised detectives that he had “sacrificed” his roommate in Could by chopping his throat and then uncapping a gasoline line and lighting a candle of their home in Fort Price, in line with the arrest warrant. The home exploded minutes after Mr. Thornburg left for work, the police mentioned.
Due to the explosion, the health worker had not been in a position to decide how the roommate, whose title was redacted within the arrest warrant, had died, the police mentioned.
Mr. Thornburg advised the police that he had additionally “sacrificed” his girlfriend in Arizona. Her title was redacted within the warrant, which mentioned she had been reported lacking. He has not been charged in these two circumstances.
It was not instantly clear if Mr. Thornburg had a lawyer. Tarrant County jail information present that he was arrested on Monday and was being held for $1 million bond.
Mr. Thornburg didn’t have an in depth or violent prison historical past, in line with Sgt. Joe Loughman of the Fort Price Police Division. “I actually couldn’t even go into the psyche of any person that’s ready to do that,” Sargeant Loughman mentioned at a information convention on Tuesday.
Mr. Gandhi mentioned he was questioning if Mr. Thornburg, who had helped him with a malfunctioning air-conditioner, actually might have carried out such grotesque crimes. “He was a pleasant man,” he mentioned. “He by no means had any fights.”
The investigation started when firefighters had been referred to as to a dumpster hearth in Fort Price on Sept. 22 at 6:17 a.m., the police mentioned. After placing out the flames, they discovered the stays of three individuals inside, the police mentioned.
A tattoo on one of many victims helped investigators determine him as David Lueras, 42, the police mentioned. Mr. Lueras “had proven up” at the Mid Metropolis Inn about 5 days earlier and had stayed in Mr. Thornburg’s room, the police mentioned.
Mr. Thornburg reduce his throat and dismembered him, the police mentioned. He “believed that David wanted to be sacrificed,” in line with the arrest warrant.
The 2 different victims had been ladies who had come to the motel a number of days after Mr. Lueras was killed, the police mentioned. Mr. Thornburg mentioned he had reduce the throat of one of many ladies and had strangled the opposite, the police mentioned.
The ladies’s names haven’t been launched, the police mentioned. Sargeant Loughman mentioned that Mr. Thornburg had indicated that “he solely knew them casually.”
The police had been in a position to hyperlink the killings to Mr. Thornburg once they discovered surveillance video that confirmed a person driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee to the dumpster and then dumping the contents of a number of containers into it earlier than lighting it on hearth, in line with the arrest warrant.
Detectives tracked the Jeep again to Mr. Thornburg, the police mentioned.
Investigators additionally discovered surveillance video from the Mid Metropolis Inn on the night time of the hearth that confirmed a person carrying massive containers from Room 113 right into a Jeep, the police mentioned. He was carrying a full-body swimsuit of the type that’s generally used for portray or dealing with hazardous supplies.
Mr. Ghandi mentioned that Mr. Thornburg had been taking part in loud music in his room throughout the week that, police say, he was killing his victims. “It was so loud, individuals had been disturbed upstairs and subsequent door,” he mentioned. “Largely some church music, most likely.”