A Texas man is suspected of being a serial killer after police arrested him in connection to two murders and possible involvement in up to 10 cold cases. Previously, the suspect was convicted of the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl.
Officials with the Austin Police Department said homicide detectives received a chilling phone call from Raul Meza Jr. on May 24. Meza allegedly confessed to killing his 80-year-old roommate, Jesse Fraga.
During the call, Meza also implicated himself in the 2019 strangulation killing of 66-year-old Gloria Lofton in Austin. Lofton's murder had been unsolved, but police say that the DNA from the crime scene matches Meza's.
Meza, 62, reportedly knew details about both murders that police had not disclosed.
"The caller stated, ‘My name is Raul Meza, and you are looking for me.' Meza then went on to detail his relationship with Jesse Fraga and detailed the manner in which he murdered Mr. Fraga, including details that had not yet been released to the public," said Det. Patrick Reed – who answered Meza's call to the police department.
“Mr. Meza said he was ready and prepared to kill again and he was looking forward to it,” Reed stated.
Following a five-day manhunt, Meza was arrested on Tuesday. Police said Meza had a backpack containing zip ties, a flashlight, duct tape, and a .22 caliber pistol with extra rounds.
He was charged with capital murder and is being held on $1 million bond, according to court records.
The Austin Police Department is investigating the possibility that Meza could be involved in several other homicides going back to 1996.
“Right now, we have between eight and 10 cases that kind of fit the similar circumstances that we’re looking at, but that could obviously grow,” Austin Police Det. Katy Conner said at a press conference.
Meza pleaded guilty in the sexual assault and strangulation slaying of a young girl in the 1980s.
In 1982, Meza pleaded guilty to raping and murdering 8-year-old Kendra Page. The girl's body was discovered behind an Austin elementary school.
At the time of the girl's murder, Meza was on parole for robbing a convenience store and shooting a man, leaving him with permanent injuries, according to police.
Meza was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crimes. However, Meza was released after only serving 11 years.
CBS News reported, "After being released on parole in the girl's killing, residents of Texas cities large and small protested when he moved there. He was forced to move from El Paso, San Antonio, Wichita Falls, Mineral Wells, and Sweetwater. After moving to rural Uvalde County, west of San Antonio, to live with his grandparents, he was jailed again after his family said he had verbally abused them."
After being boycotted, Meza held a news conference to proclaim that he had changed his violent ways.
"There’s nothing I can do to change my past,” Meza told reporters, according to KVUE. “I can only tell you that in my heart, I know that I will not willfully bring harm to anyone again.”
Bruce Mills – who investigated Page's murder in 1982 and is now the interim assistant city manager of Austin – recalled the horrific case.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," Mills said of the 1982 murder investigation. "We were shocked, disappointed with no real explanation as to why this case didn’t go to trial. We never got solid answers to that."
Mills said of Meza, "Here’s a serial killer that justice was not served. It was a travesty of justice."
He added, "Commits capital murder, pleads to murder, is released 11 years later, and has killed how many people? We don’t know."
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!
North Texas city among several to run suspected serial killer out of town after prison releasewww.youtube.com