Things to know about Raul Meza, the suspected serial killer who once lived in San Antonio

Austin police: Raul Meza Jr. is accused of killing Jesse Fraga and Gloria Lofton, admitted to double murder in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – A convicted Texas killer with ties to San Antonio has been arrested in connection with two more deaths in the Austin area.

Raul Meza Jr., 62, who served 11 years in prison for the murder and rape of Kendra Paige, 8, is now accused of killing Jesse Fraga, 80, and Gloria Lofton, 66, police said.

According to records from the Austin Police Department, Meza called authorities on May 24 and implicated himself in the deaths of Fraga in May and Lofton in 2019.

Before he hung up, he also gave details about a double murder he allegedly committed in San Antonio. Now, authorities said they are reopening several cold cases that may be linked to him.

As of Thursday, here’s what we know about Meza, his connection to San Antonio and his criminal history.

Death of Kendra Paige

Kendra’s body was found behind an Austin elementary school in 1982, according to the Associated Press. That year, Meza pleaded guilty to killing and raping her.

At the time of Kendra’s death, Meza was on parole for robbing a convenience store and shooting a man, leaving him with permanent injuries, police said.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for Kendra’s death in 1982, but he was paroled in June 1993, an arrest warrant affidavit states.

The AP reported that he was released with credit for time served and good behavior.

Affidavit details Meza’s confessions

Police in Pflugerville had listed Meza as a person of interest in the death of his roommate, Fraga. Officers found him dead on May 20 at his home in the 700 block of Campfire Trail as they conducted a wellness check, and they announced Meza as a person of interest on May 23.

The following day, just before 2 p.m., Meza called the Austin 311 number and was forwarded to the APD homicide department.

When a homicide detective answered the phone, Meza said, “My name is Raul Meza, and I think you are looking for me,” the affidavit states.

The detective then started to record the conversation and asked Meza to repeat his name. The affidavit stated that Meza repeated his name and spelled it out, and then “began describing his lifetime” and stints in prison.

He said he left prison in 2016 and ended up “murdering a lady soon afterward,” he said, adding that the death took place on Sara Drive.

“Meza said he believed the case was not investigated as a homicide and was ‘misidentified’ by police,” the affidavit states. “Meza even claimed he was promised twenty-five percent of the money the victim’s nephew inherited.”

Meza then started to describe Fraga’s death, the affidavit states. Police said he included details that had not been made public, although they did not disclose those details.

According to Pflugerville police, Fraga was fatally stabbed on or around May 13. Officers were conducting a wellness check on May 20 because his family hadn’t heard from him for several days.

Meza’s phone call with the police lasted for 14 minutes and he hung up when he heard sirens, police said. Before he ended the call, he implicated himself in two deaths that occurred in San Antonio.

Connections to San Antonio, other Texas cities

After he was released from prison in 1993, Meza moved to various Texas cities, including San Antonio. While speaking with the Austin police detective on May 24, Meza said he committed two killings in San Antonio in the “years prior,” the arrest warrant affidavit states.

The document did not reveal when he lived in San Antonio or which area he lived in.

No further details about the dates of the alleged deaths or victims were released in the affidavit.

San Antonio police said they are investigating his claims.

“Our SAPD Homicide detectives are in communication with Austin PD and currently looking into the statements made by the suspect,” San Antonio police told KSAT on Thursday.

SAPD said APD is the lead agency in the case, and no interviews will be provided. SAPD did not release additional details.

The AP reported that Meza also lived in El Paso, Wichita Falls, Mineral Wells, Sweetwater and Uvalde County, and he was run out of all of them due to the community’s protests.

After moving to Uvalde County to live with his grandparents, he was jailed again after his family said he had verbally abused them, the AP reported.

2019 death of Gloria Lofton

In his phone call on May 24, Meza did not name Lofton as a victim but did state the street name where she was killed. Lofton was found strangled in May 2019 in the 4800 block of Sara Drive in Austin.

The affidavit states that she was found in a bedroom, naked from the waist down, with her two shirts pulled above her head.

A sexual assault forensic exam was completed during her autopsy, and a DNA sample from her body matched Meza’s DNA, the affidavit states.

Austin police added that they previously responded to a disturbance call in the 4800 block of Sara Drive in 2013, and Meza was documented in that report.

The address on Sara Drive was listed as his place of residence on his driver’s license until 2019.

In October 2019, he changed his license address to the 700 block of Campfire Trail in Pflugerville.

May 29 arrest

Pflugerville police said Meza was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in north Austin on Memorial Day this year.

When Meza was arrested, police said he was carrying a backpack containing zip ties, a flashlight, duct tape and a .22 caliber pistol with extra rounds.

“Meza said he was ready and prepared to kill again and looking forward to it,” Austin Police Department Detective Patrick Reed said.

He has since been charged with the murders of Fraga and Lofton.

Investigations into cold cases

Eight to 10 cold cases going back to 1996 are being investigated as possibly connected to Meza, and the number could rise, Austin Police Department detective Katie Conner said in a news conference Tuesday.

She said there appeared to be no immediate connections between the victims and that the cases “fit the circumstances” that they were looking at, but did not elaborate further on what those were.

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.