AUSTIN, Texas (TCD) – Authorities arrested a 62-year-old man on suspicion of being a serial killer with ties to multiple unsolved homicide cases in the area.
According to Pflugerville Police, officers conducted a welfare check at a property on the 700 block of Camp Fire Trail on Saturday, May 20, and discovered 80-year-old Jesse Fraga deceased inside. Raul Meza, the main person of interest in the case, was last seen driving Fraga’s Toyota Tundra, according to police. Meza’s arrest was announced by Pflugerville Police on May 23.
According to Austin Police Sgt. Nathan Sexton, Meza phoned the police the next day and was sent to the murder department, where she met with Det. Patrick Reed. In 2019, Meza allegedly admitted to killing Fraga and another woman named Gloria Lofton. Police believe he is involved in at least eight to ten additional cases.
Meza apparently divulged previously undisclosed details regarding his friendship with Fraga and his death. He made similar “case-specific” remarks about Lofton’s death. Reed acquired enough probable cause to seek the death penalty for Lofton. Austin Police worked with Pflugerville Police, who issued Meza with a first-degree murder warrant.
Fraga was strangled with a belt and had a puncture wound to his neck as well as a severed cervical spine. Lofton died as well from strangling.
At the time, authorities discovered DNA at Lofton’s residence that tested positive for Meza when run through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). He was not, however, arrested at the time. According to KXAN-TV, the Austin Police Department is looking into “potential investigative lapses.”
Meza murdered 8-year-old Kendra Page in 1982. Prosecutors accused him of capital murder, but he pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Interim City Manager Bruce Mills, who worked as a detective on the Kendra Page case, stated, “Here’s a serial killer where justice was not served.”
U.S. Marshal Brandon Filla added, “We go after the worst of the worst, and he was one of those individuals.”
The US Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force captured Meza in North Austin on May 30. He was carrying a rucksack that included zip ties, a rifle, and duct tape.
According to Reed, Meza told Marshals that he was “ready and prepared to kill again,” and that he was “looking forward to it.”