A 62-year-old Texas man is facing two new murder charges after he allegedly called police to confess to killing his roommate and another woman, and authorities are now investigating whether the previously convicted killer could be linked to other cold cases.
Raul Meza Jr. also allegedly may have killed again if he was not apprehended this week. Austin police Detective Patrick Reed said Meza told police Tuesday night that “he was ready and prepared to kill again, and he was looking forward to it.”
Meza was apprehended Monday for the murder of his roommate, 80-year-old Jesse Fraga, who was stabbed to death at their home in Pflugerville this month, and the murder of a woman in 2019, according to authorities.
Fraga was found dead with a belt around his neck when police responded to the house on May 20 for a welfare check requested by his family, who hadn’t heard from him in over a week, Austin police Sgt. Nathan Sexton said at a news conference Tuesday. Fraga’s niece told police that Meza moved out on May 12, which was the day Fraga was last seen alive, according to the probable cause affidavit.
On May 24, Meza called Austin police and allegedly confessed to Fraga’s murder, and he also allegedly implicated himself in a woman’s murder from several years ago, Sexton said.
Reed, who answered Meza’s confession phone call, said Meza told him that he was released from prison in 2016 and, “I end up murdering a lady soon afterwards.”
Sexton said Austin police found only one case that met the “parameters that had been set out by Meza” in that phone call: the murder of Gloria Lofton, who was strangled in May 2019.
Reed said Meza shared details that hadn’t been released to the public.
DNA recovered from the Lofton scene was also linked to Meza, authorities said, but it wasn’t until Meza called police that he was charged with Lofton’s murder.
Meza was already a convicted killer. In 1982, he pled guilty to the murder of an 8-year-old girl, according to the case’s main investigator, Bruce Mills, who is now Austin’s assistant interim city manager.
In the wake of these new murder charges, police have now identified “multiple cold cases that have a similar M.O. [modus operandi], and we’re looking into those for future leads,” Reed said.
Police said there are between eight and 10 cases that fit similar circumstances.
“He’s killed how many people? We don’t know,” Mills said.
Meza was booked into the Travis County Jail. He does not have a court date set.