Disturbing Details Released in the Death of Robert Thornhill

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Disturbing details surface in the murder of Robert Thornhill.

Four suspects charged in the case, Derek Elms, Willie Hurst, Heather Mitchell, and Kathleen Newberry, explained in gruesome detail how they killed the 23-year-old Odessan.

In a signed affidavit, the suspects admitted to slitting Thornhill's throat with a large knife and shooting the still-struggling victim with a crossbow before finally dumping his body, dousing it in gasoline, and setting it on fire.

It's also revealed that Heather Mitchell drove Thornhill outside the city limits.

Thronhill was murdered in the car, covered up, then left until the suspects returned to dump his body.

The FBI confirmed a love triangle between Mitchell, Thornhill, and Hurst, but no word if that lead to the killing.

The four were caught on Tuesday, after being taken in for questioning during a raid on a West Odessa home that involved guns and burglaries.

Police say the group had been living at the house "off and on."

Thornhill's body was found later that night after investigators say one of the suspects led them to the body in an oil field ditch north of Goldsmith.

The body has been sent in for positive ID and an autopsy in Tarrant County.

The four suspects remain in jail on $500,000 bonds each.

A benevolence account has been set up for the family of Robert Thornhill.

Donations can be made at First Basin Credit Union at the location on 8th and Golder, or the one on Grandview next to Texas Roadhouse.

The account number is 60872.