After sixteen years of evading the law, a man was finally arrested for the murder of his stepdaughter in 2004. The suspect, 46-year old Raul Mata, has been arrested at Watsonville, California by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Law enforcement authorities found DNA evidence linking Mata to the brutal murder of his stepdaughter, Dilcia Mejia, on the latter’s fingerprints. He’s currently waiting for extradition to Florida, according to Miami Herald.
The victim was slain in September 2004, on the month of her 16th birthday — this was after several cases of sexual advances made by her stepfather, as testified by a school counselor.
Quite ironically, it was Mata who first contacted the authorities regarding his stepdaughter’s death. “We need someone to come here,” Mata told 911. “My daughter. Somebody killed my daughter.”
Despite showing a veneer of innocence, the cops still considered Mata a suspect, but he denied any involvement in the killing, reported Fox News.
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Photo: Watsonville Police Department/Miami-Dade Police Department
“I do believe that there is one individual out there who can shed some light on this case and take it on a new direction,” declared Detective Robert Miller on the above television station.
The killer was hasty in separating from Mejia’s mother, settling in central California, and starting anew as a nurse with a wife and one child.
“This individual had established a whole new life in California, was remarried, had a child,” Miami-Dade Police Maj. Jorge Aguiar informed reporters during a press conference on Thursday.
“So you can see that this individual didn’t have a conscience. Because this individual just pretty much went on with his life, living a normal life.”
At the time of Mejia’s death, there was still no viable technology which could be utilized for analyzing DNA, but fortunately for the victim’s family, authorities never stopped their efforts in catching the killer.
“The Miami-Dade Police Department never forgets its victims and through tenacious and resilient police work by our homicide cold case detectives, our forensic lab personnel, and our state attorney’s office, we were able to bring him to justice in the name of Dilcia and her family,” says Police Director Alfredo Ramirez III in an interview.
Meija’s cousin appeared on television this week and said that she “… was a joy in our lives and the loss of it left a huge hole in our hearts, and I know talking here doesn’t bring her back but speaking here is creating a voice for her.”
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