Austin Police say that in 2019, three years after his release from Travis County Jail, 62-year-old Raul Meza Jr. confessed to the de@th of his 80-year-old roommate Jesse Fraga and implicated himself in the m*rder of Gloria Lofton, 66.
East Austin resident Sergio Rodriguez, who claims to have known Lofton, stated, “When they told me she got murdered, I was like ‘What?'” Since I was a young child, she had known me. That’s not cool at all. The APD has claimed that they are now investigating eight to ten additional cold cases to which Meza may be connected, but that this number could increase.
Meza is being held in the Travis County Jail at this time. After his arrest, Meza reportedly told police that he was ready to kill again. “Here we have a serial killer for whom justice has not been done. It was a mockery of justice,” said Interim Assistant City Manager Bruce Mills, who led the investigation that led to Meza’s conviction in the 1982 murder of Kendra Page, then 8 years old.
“We don’t know how many more people he k!lled or would have k!lled,” Mills said. Mills recalled that Meza had admitted to k!lling Page. The matter did not proceed to trial for reasons he does not fully understand, he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The news can be confirmed by the tweet below:
Police: Man arrested in ‘multiple murders’, city official calls him ‘serial killer’ https://t.co/xC8T41QTcG
— johnnyk2000 (@johnnyk20001) May 31, 2023
“We never really got solid answers on that,” Mills said. “I think 11 years [after going to prison], this guy was released,” he said. “I talked to the media at the time about the travesty of justice even then, when he had only done 11 years from the 30-year sentence.”
Meza reportedly called the APD 311 line on May 24 and was connected to the homicide hotline. According to Austin Police Department Homicide Unit Sergeant Nathan Sexton, Meza confessed to killing Fraga and implicating himself in the de@th of Lofton in 2019.
According to the police, it is unusual for someone accused of a crime like this to get in touch with them. According to Detective Patrick Reed, who spoke with Meza, “the caller stated, ‘My name is Raul Meza and you are looking for me.
U.S. Marshal Brandon Filla said the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force was contacted by the Pflugerville Police Department in an effort to capture Meza. “We were able to establish more intelligence that we knew… Raul Meza was considered armed and dangerous, he was suicidal and had violent tendencies,” Filla said.
“The task force was able to apprehend Meza [Monday] evening,” Filla said. According to Filla, Meza was carrying a bag with zip ties, duct tape, a flashlight, rounds of ammunition, and a revolver when the task team apprehended him.
“[U.S. Marshals] approached, surrounded him and then took them into custody within a blink of an eye. And I think that was a key advantage based on what was in that in that bag,” Filla said. Last week, Fraga’s body was discovered at his Pflugerville home, and investigators have since named Meza as a person of interest in the case.
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Meza was charged with two counts of first-degree felony and one count of unlawful use of a vehicle, according to court documents. The arresting agency was the APD. Days after Meza was identified as a suspect in Fraga’s death, the Pflugerville Police Department verified that Meza had a “prior conviction for a murder in Travis County in 1982.”
Meza has been incarcerated, released on parole, and reincarcerated many times. “To continue this kinds of heinous offenses, the community has not been safe,” said retired Travis County judge Charlie Baird. “That is a heinous offense, the death of a child that also involves a sexual assault. It’s a heinous offense and the 30-year sentence to me just seems to be excessively too light.”
In addition to what Baird called a short sentence, a state legislation that is no longer in place also contributed to Meza’s release from prison early. “At the time of his sentence in 1982 if he was a model prisoner and received good conduct time, he was given credit for that, and that credit was mandatory. And that therefore effectively reduced his sentence,” he said.
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