A shocked relative of a man found in a burning skip has said that his killers "definitely wanted to make an example out of him".
The charred remains of David Lueras, 42, were discovered by firemen in the dumpster in Fort Worth, Texas five days ago.
Police have been baffled by two other bodies that were also found in an industrial waste unit.
Two other corpses mixed in with him have still not been identified, but are believed to be those of a child, young teenager, or adult woman.
Police have said that some body parts are missing and "unaccounted for".
Aaron Torres, cousin of murder victim Lueras, claimed to Fox 4 News that he knew his brother had been frightened of potential attackers in the days leading up to the discovery of his remains.
He said: "He wouldn’t tell us their names"
"I know that he was scared and I know he knew somebody was after him to get him"
Lueras had faced a number of convictions over the years for drug offences, fraud, burglary, and theft, and his cousin says that he had become involved in a bad crowd.
Torres also said that he had lost touch with Lueras over the years, but knew that he had been getting in touch with family members in an attempt to find somewhere to hide away from Fort Worth.
He also said that he had no idea as to who the other victims found alongside him might be.
In a statement on the distressing incident, the Fort Worth Police Department revealed the discovery had only come after the fire brigade had tackled the flames, commenting:
"During process of extinguishing the fire, three bodies were discovered inside the dumpster”
“The bodies were burned and heavily dismembered and there are body parts unaccounted for.”
The force added that finding out who the two other bodies are has now become a priority, saying: “identifying the perpetrators and suspects of this triple murder is the primary goal of this investigation”
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