Stepfather of Murdered Miami-Dade County Girl Arrested 16 Years Later

Mata and Mejia

16 years after allegedly killing his stepdaughter in Miami-Dade County, a California man has been finally arrested, law enforcement authorities confirmed.

46-year-old Raul Mata, who now resides in Watsonville, California, will face charges for the murder of Dilcia Mejia, 16, but only after he has been extradited to Miami-Dade.

Police reports of the murder recalled officers being called to a mobile home housing the family on September 17, 2004. The call was about an unresponsive female.

It was Raul Mata who directed officers to the body of the young female victim. She was found with a cut around her neck and the medical examiner concluded that her death was indeed homicide.

Mata was not arrested then even though DNA samples obtained from the deceased matched his. So what has changed now?

Well, according to the police, investigators now have physical and circumstatial evidence that points to Mata carrying out the murder.

Alfredo Ramirez, Miami-Dade Police Director, praised the efforts of his agency in finally closing the 16-year case. “We take great pride in speaking for the victim and finally capturing her murderer. The Homicide Bureau is happy and satisfied to finally give the family closure after such an unfortunate loss.”

The State Sttorney of Miami-Dade, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, also gave a statement praising the resolution of the murder case. “Mata’s arrest gives hope to the family of the victim as well as others still seeking justice for their loss”

A motive for the murder has yet to be disclosed by the Miami-Dale police department.