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Texas Man Indicted For Three Murders After Allegedly Telling Authorities He Carried Out Slayings As ‘Human Sacrifices’

The dismembered bodies of Lauren Phillips, Maricruz Mathis and David Luera were found in September in a burning dumpster in Fort Worth. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Girlfriend Of Slaying Suspect Missing Since 2017: Relative

A Texas man has been indicted for killing three people after allegedly telling authorities he carried out the slayings as “human sacrifices.”

Jason Alan Thornburg, 41, was indicted Tuesday in Tarrant County for the murders of Lauren Phillips, Maricruz Mathis and David Luera, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

All three bodies were found dismembered in a burning dumpster in Fort Worth on September 22.

Investigators linked Thornburg to the murders after a vehicle connected to him was captured in surveillance footage at the dumpster, according to The Associated Press.

Thornburg allegedly admitted to killing all three people, telling investigators that he believed the slayings were “human sacrifices” and wanted to serve God, according to court documents obtained by KTVT.

Jason Thornburg Ap

Mathis and Luera were stabbed to death, while Phillips had been strangled.

Authorities said Thornburg also admitted to killing his roommate, Mark Jewell, earlier this year and claimed to have killed his missing girlfriend Tanya Begay in 2017.

Jewell was found dead in May after a suspicious house fire. Thornburg allegedly told investigators that he had slit his roommate’s throat, uncapped a natural gas line and lit a candle to start the fire, then later spoke at the man’s funeral.  

At the time of Jewell’s death, the medical examiner in the case had been unable to determine a cause of death.

Begay, an American Indian woman from New Mexico, disappeared in 2017 while on a trip with Thornburg. Her mother told authorities that her daughter had been planning to travel from Leupp,  Arizona to their home in Gallup, New Mexico, but she never arrived, according to The Associated Press.

Navajo Nation police are said to be investigating that case.

In October, Mental Health Magistrate Judge Nelda Cacciotti ordered a mental health evaluation for Thornburg to determine if he had any disability or had received treatment in the past for any issues, KTVT reported. The report will be used to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Thornburg currently remains jailed on a $1 million bond.

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