Texas authorities search field linked to convicted murderer who allegedly confessed to 2 murders, may be connected to more


Local and federal authorities searched a Texas field north of Austin this week in connection with a convicted murderer who allegedly confessed to two murders in May and may be linked to other unsolved homicides dating back decades, authorities said.

The Austin and Pflugerville police departments and the FBI were conducting what an Austin police spokesperson described in a statement as a follow-up investigation related to the «current» case of Raúl Meza Jr.

The search was conducted in a field near 1825 Farm-to-Market Road in an area identified by NBC affiliate KXAN approximately 15 miles north of downtown Austin.

Raul Meza Jr.Pflugerville Police

The spokesman said the investigation is ongoing and no further details were available.

Meza is being held at the Travis County Correctional Complex on two counts of murder: the stabbing of Jesse Fraga, 80, in May, and the murder of Gloria Lofton, 66, in 2019.

Meza served 11 years in prison for the sexual assault and murder of 8-year-old Kendra Page in 1982.

He was arrested May 29 for the fatal stabbing of Fraga, a former probation officer whom authorities have described as Meza’s roommate. He was found dead in a closet in his house nine days earlier.

After authorities launched a manhunt for Meza, he called an Austin hotline and told a homicide detective, «My name is Raul Meza, and I think you’re looking for me,» according to an arrest affidavit.

During the phone call, Meza allegedly confessed to the fatal stabbing of Fraga and the murder of Lofton, the affidavit says. His cause and manner of death had initially been listed as «undetermined,» but after the alleged confession, authorities linked DNA found at the scene to Meza and said he died by strangulation, according to the affidavit.

The Austin Police Department has launched an administrative review into how the 2019 case was handled to determine if there were «potential flaws in the investigation,» as the department previously described it.

A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of the investigation.

When Meza was arrested in May, authorities found him with zip ties, duct tape, a flashlight and a .22-caliber pistol.

Meza allegedly admitted to planning more murders, authorities said at the time, and investigators were looking into links between him and as many as 10 unsolved homicides dating back to the 1990s.

Meza’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

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