AUSTIN, Texas – Texas authorities have arrested a man they described as a serial killer. He was previously convicted and served time for homicide in 1982, has been linked by DNA to one recent murder, reportedly confessed during multiple phone calls to two homicides, and investigators say he may be responsible for more killings going back to 1975 when he was a teenager.
The suspect was identified by authorities as 62-year-old Raul Meza Jr. He was wanted on two homicide charges and one unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The murders included the May 20 killing of his roommate, 80-year-old Jesse Fraga, and the 2019 murder of 66-year-old Gloria Lofton, FOX 7 Austin reported.
The U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested Meza on North Lamar Blvd. near Parmer Ln. in North Austin on May 29 – five days after they say he admitted over the phone to committing two local murders.
“The caller stated, ‘My name is Raul Meza, and you’re looking for me,'” said Det. Patrick Reed with the Austin Police Department.
Reed said Meza confessed to the stabbing death of Fraga in the nearby city of Pflugerville. The 80-year-old murder victim was found stabbed to death at a home on Camp Fire Trail in the Settlers Ridge Neighborhood. Police said Meza then fled the scene in Fraga’s car.
“Meza then went on to detail his relationship with Jesse Fraga and detailed the manner in which he murdered Mr. Fraga,” said Reed.
Four days later, Meza called police, and also confessed to the 2019 sexual assault and murder of Lofton on Sara Drive in East Austin.
Following the incriminating phone calls, investigators learned that Meza frequented hotels along I-35, and task force investigators were finally able to track him down.
“Going door to door, going hotel to hotel,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Brendan Filla. “They approached, surrounded him and took him into custody within a blink of an eye.”
The purported killer has been officially tied to several homicides since 1975, according to officials, but investigators are looking at other murders that may resemble his signature, Fox News reported.
“We have between eight and 10 cases that kind of fit these similar circumstances that we’re looking at. But that could obviously grow,” Detective Katy Conner with the Austin Police Department said during a press conference Tuesday announcing Meza’s arrest.
When police arrested Meza, he had a bag that contained duct tape, zip ties, a firearm, and additional rounds of ammunition. Authorities believe he may have been planning more murders.
“I will let you know that Mr. Meza said he was ready and prepared to kill again, and he was looking forward to it,” Reed said on Tuesday.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Filla described Meza as “the worst of the worst.”