Suspect serial killer arrested after 80-year-old roommate is found dead with belt around his neck

Law enforcement officials arrested a 62-year-old man they allege is a serial killer with connections to several unsolved homicide cases in the area.


According to Pflugerville Police, on Saturday, May 20, officers conducted a welfare check at a residence on the 700 block of Camp Fire Trail and found 80-year-old Jesse Fraga deceased inside. Police identified Raul Meza as the main person of interest in the case and said he was last seen driving Fraga’s Toyota Tundra. Pflugerville Police released the news about Meza May 23.


Austin Police Sgt. Nathan Sexton said in a press conference Meza contacted the department the next day and was transferred to the homicide department where she spoke with Det. Patrick Reed. Meza allegedly confessed to killing Fraga as well as a woman named Gloria Lofton in 2019. Police think he could be connected to at least eight to 10 more cases.


Reed said Meza admitted on the phone, “My name is Raul Meza and you’re looking for me.”


Meza allegedly revealed details about his relationship with Fraga and his death that had not been shared with the public yet. He made similar “case-specific” comments about Lofton’s killing. Reed obtained enough probable cause to file a capital murder warrant for Lofton’s death. Austin Police collaborated with Pflugerville Police, who also wrote a first-degree murder warrant for Meza.


Fraga had been strangled with a belt and suffered a puncture wound to his neck and a severed cervical spine. Lofton also died from strangulation.


At the time, investigators found DNA at Lofton’s home that came up as a match to Meza when it was put through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). However, he was not arrested at the time. KXAN-TV reports the Austin Police Department is reviewing “potential investigative lapses.”


In 1982, Meza killed 8-year-old Kendra Page. Prosecutors charged him with capital murder, but he pleaded guilty and served only 11 years out of his 30-year sentence.


Interim City Manager Bruce Mills, who served as a detective on the Kendra Page case, said, “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 U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force eventually apprehended Meza in North Austin May 30. He reportedly had a backpack with zip-ties, a gun, and duct tape inside.


According to Reed, Meza told Marshals he was “ready and prepared to kill again,” and that he was “looking forward to it.”

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