Authorities said that a murder suspect called Texas police and confessed multiple killings. He told them “You’re searching for me,” which triggered a manhunt, leading to his arrest.
Officials said that on Monday, marshals and police arrested Raul Meza, Jr., aged 62, after he made a chilling phone call to homicide investigators five days earlier.
Meza was called a person-of-interest in the fatal stabbing Jesse Fraga. The 80-year old man’s body was discovered on May 20, in Pflugerville.
Austin police Detective Patrick Reed said to reporters that Meza had called the police on May 24, and informed them he knew he was wanted.
Reed stated that the caller said, “My name is Raul Méza and you are looking for me.”
Reed claimed that Meza confessed killing Fraga and revealed details about the crime not known to the public before confessing to another murder.
“I was released from prison in 2016 and I ended up killing a woman shortly after. Reed reported that Meza had told police “It was on Sara Drive.”
The jail records did not show that Meza hired an attorney or was assigned a public lawyer.
Police said that the 2019 strangulation death of Gloria Lofton on Sara Drive, Austin, had been unsolved. However, DNA taken from the crime scene was found to match Meza’s.
Meza was known to frequent hotels near Interstate 35, in Austin and the surrounding area. A fugitive taskforce arrested him on Monday night at one of these hotels.
Deputy U.S said that Raul Meza “was considered dangerous and armed.” He was suicidal, and had violent tendencies.
Filla reported that authorities found zip ties and duct tape as well as a flashlight, rounds, a pistol of.22 caliber, and a flashlight on Meza.
Reed claimed that Meza admitted planning additional murders on Monday evening.
Reed stated that Meza was “ready and prepared to kill another time, and he looked forward to it.”
The police are investigating possible links between Meza’s murders and unsolved crimes dating back to the 1990s.
Katy Conner, a detective with the Austin Police Department, said that there was a high probability of finding more cases.
She said that there are currently between 8 and 10 similar cases, but this number can grow.
Meza was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the murder of a 8-year old girl and sexual assault, according to police.
Bruce Mills was the sergeant who led the investigation into the 1982 case. He is now the interim assistant to the city manager in Austin.
He told reporters on Tuesday that the police had developed a strong case before prosecutors struck a deal with him to give him a 30-year prison sentence. However, it turned out he only spent 11 years in jail.
Mills recalled the murder investigation as if it were yesterday. “We were disappointed and shocked that this case did not go to trial. “We never received solid answers.”
Mills continued, “Here is a serial killer to whom justice was not done.” “It was an abomination of justice.”
On Thursday, it was not possible to reach a representative of Travis County District attorney Jose Garza for a comment.
Ronnie Earle was the county’s top attorney in 1982. He died in 2020 . His family representative could not be reached to comment.
In 2018, Earle was honored by the building that now houses Travis County DA’s operations.