AUSTIN, Texas - The family of one of a suspected serial killer’s victims is reacting to accusations that he killed again.
Austin police believe 62-year-old Raul Meza may be responsible for a dozen murders, but he’s no stranger to law enforcement.
There are now questions about possible missed clues.
Meza’s name is re-emerging in the public sphere.
Three decades ago next month, a North Texas community was running him out of town.
"We don’t want him, take him back. We don’t want him, take him back," people said.
In July 1993, residents in Mineral Wells — west of Fort Worth — were protesting the arrival of Meza.
He had just been released after serving 11 years of a 30-year sentence for the 1982 rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl.
Mineral Wells was one of several across the state that would go on to run him out of town, with people fearing for their safety.
"There’s nothing to say he won’t try it again," one person said back in 1993.
Police now fear he did it again, and again.
Authorities said he killed his 80-year-old roommate in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last month.
Police said he also killed a 66-year-old woman in 2019, and they believe that may just be the start.
"We have between 8-10 cases that kind of fit these similar circumstances that we're looking at," Austin PD Det. Katy Conner said.
There are now questions about whether police might have been able to stop Meza sooner.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that months after the 2019 murder, police matched DNA from the victim’s body to Meza, and the Austin police chief "confirmed he had opened an administrative review about potential investigative lapses."
The paper also reported Meza’s driver’s license listed him living near the victim, but the arrest didn’t happen until Meza called police May 23 and reportedly confessed to the two recent killings.
"The judicial system’s not fair," said Tracy Page, who is the sister of Kendra Page, the 8-year-old Meza murdered in 1982. "It’s just like he made it through the system and nobody else backed the victims up. Nobody took care of us, nobody supported us."
Police said when Meza was arrested, he had a backpack full of zip ties, a flashlight, duct tape and .22 caliber pistol.
Police said he told them he was ready to kill again.