CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Austin police say suspect in 2 killings may be involved in nearly a dozen more

Jun 4, 2023, 8:00 AM

Raul Meza Jr., 62, pictured on May 29, called police on May 24 and confessed to killing his 80-year...

Raul Meza Jr., 62, pictured on May 29, called police on May 24 and confessed to killing his 80-year-old roommate, Jesse Fraga, and implicated himself in the killing of 66-year-old Gloria Lofton in 2019, Austin Police Department officials said at a news conference. Mandatory Credit: Austin Police Department/AP

(CNN) — Police in Austin, Texas, said a man contacted them and admitted to killing two people, which led authorities to investigate his possible involvement in up to 10 other killings.

Raul Meza Jr., 62, called police on May 24 and confessed to killing his 80-year-old roommate, Jesse Fraga, and implicated himself in the killing of 66-year-old Gloria Lofton in 2019, Austin Police Department officials said at a Thursday news conference.

Meza was booked on Tuesday – following a five-day manhunt – on four charges, including capital murder, and he is being held on $1 million bond, according to court records.

When he was arrested, police said Meza had a bag with duct tape, zip ties and a gun holding additional rounds.

“Mr. Meza said he was ready and prepared to kill again and he was looking forward to it,” said Det. Patrick Reed, who answered Meza’s initial call and spoke to him again once he was detained.

“The caller stated, ‘My name is Raul Meza, and you are looking for me,’” Reed said during the news conference. “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.”

CNN has reached out to Meza’s court-appointed attorney for comment.

Austin police said they are now looking into the possibility that Meza might be involved in additional homicides.

“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 the news conference.

In 1982, Meza was charged with the murder of an 8-year-old girl and served about 11 years of a 30-year sentence, according to Austin police.

Bruce Mills, who investigated the case in 1982 and is now Austin’s assistant interim city manager, said he thought Meza should have served more time for the 1982 killing.

“Commits capital murder, pleads to murder, is released 11 years later, and has killed how many people? We don’t know,” Mills said. “Justice was not served. So, there was a travesty of justice totally in this case.”

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Austin police say suspect in 2 killings may be involved in nearly a dozen more