Man Who Felt Called to 'Commit Sacrifices' Confessed to 5 Murders, Including Roommate's

Jason Thornburg, who felt compelled to "commit sacrifices," according to the arrest warrant, has confessed to five murders, including killing his roommate and girlfriend.

In an interview with police, not only did Thornburg, 41, confess to killing three people discovered in a burning dumpster earlier this year, he also confessed to the murder of his roommate and girlfriend Tanya Begay. The arrest warrant said he told officers that he possessed in-depth knowledge of the bible and thought he was being called to "commit sacrifices."

On Monday, Thornburg, was indicted on capital murder for the deaths of David Lueras, 42, Lauren Phillips, 34, and Maricruz Mathis, 33, said the Tarrant County district attorney's office. Their bodies were found dismembered in a burning dumpster on Sept. 27 in Fort Worth.

Police were led to Thornburg by surveillance footage that showed a vehicle at the site of the dumpster, according to The Associated Press.

Thornburg, who had been at a motel in Euless, a Fort Worth suburb since late July, told authorities that around five days before the bodies being found, Lueras had come to his motel room, AP reported. Thornburg told authorities he cut Lueras' throat and then cut him into pieces in the bathtub, according to the arrest warrant.

Approximately two days later, a woman came to Thornburg's motel room and he slit her throat, the AP reported. The arrest warrant also said another woman came two days after that. Thornburg attempted to stab her but ultimately strangled her.

Law enforcement said when they identified Thornburg as a suspect in the murder of the three discovered in the dumpster, they were already familiar with him from his roommate's death investigation earlier this year.

Jason Thornburg, Indictment, Capital Murder, "Sacrifices"
This undated file photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows Jason Thornburg. On Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, a grand jury in Fort Worth, Texas, returned a capital murder indictment against Thornburg, who authorities said confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster earlier in the year. Fort Worth Police Department via AP, File

According to the arrest warrant, Thornburg's roommate had been killed in a suspicious house fire in May. During the police interview in September, 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.

Tanya Begay, an American Indian woman from Gallup, New Mexico, has been missing since taking a trip with Thornburg in 2017. When Begay last spoke to her mother, she told her she planned to travel from the Arizona town of Leupp back to her family's home near Gallup, New Mexico — a drive through the Navajo Nation that should've taken a few hours.

Gallup police said Navajo Nation police were the main investigating agency in Begay's case and referred questions to them. Navajo Nation police did not immediately return a message seeking updates on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jason Thornburg, Indictment, Capital Murder, "Sacrifices"
Jason Thornburg, 41, told authorities that he killed a man and two women while staying at a motel in Euless, a Forth Worth suburb, before setting the dumpster fire the bodies of the three people were discovered in. In this photo, search and rescue crews dig through a dumpster as they search for human remains on Nov. 21, 2018, in Paradise, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images