Home News Crime & Incidents RivCo Cold Case Murder Suspect Arrested In Anna Meza’s 2017 Death

RivCo Cold Case Murder Suspect Arrested In Anna Meza’s 2017 Death

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SAN JACINTO, CA — It has been six years and five months since Anna Meza, 31, was shot and killed in broad daylight on a San Jacinto street.

This week, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of a suspect in the case “after a lengthy investigation.”

After a lengthy investigation into the death of 31-year-old Anna Meza, of San Jacinto, investigators with the Central Homicide Unit identified the suspect as Daniel Acevedo Cortez, a 27-year-old resident of San Jacinto. | Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Daniel Acevedo Cortez, 27, faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait and sentence-enhancing gun, and great bodily injury allegations. He was arrested Friday by the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit during a traffic stop, according to the department.

According to jail records, Cortez is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center on $1 million bail.

Justice For Anna

Just before 3:15 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2017, Acevedo Cortez allegedly approached Meza and a man identified in court records as J.M., on the 100 block of North Dillon Avenue in San Jacinto. He then pulled a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, opening fire, according to investigators and prosecutors. Meza was shot and killed, while J.M. was uninjured in that attack.

Emergency responders attempted life-saving measures, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Another man, identified as J.M. in court records, was present but not wounded in that attack.

For six and a half years since, on birthdays and holidays, Anna Meza’s family and friends have left flowers at her gravesite.

Meza’s grave marker is a polished black marble double heart. It bears Anna’s image and the words “Always On Our Minds, Forever In Our Hearts,” along with icons reflecting her heritage and lyrics from a favorite song.

Her family vowed never to forget. They have participated in the Riverside County District Attorney’s Victims of Violent Crimes Memorial for six years, including the virtual coronavirus year. Her sister, Alishia Falcon, has made statements at San Jacinto City Council sessions and remained in contact with the detectives.

“Anna’s last words were ‘call 911. I’m dying,'” something that no family member should ever have to learn, she said in an online petition calling for justice in her sister’s slaying. “She deserves justice, and her family deserves some closure.”

Falcon posted on Facebook after the arrest of the suspect in her sister’s fatal shooting.

“Justice has been served,” she wrote.

Family and friends of Anna Meza have mourned the unsolved slaying of their loved one for six and a half years. Now, they hope for closure.

“My Dearest Beautiful Loving Sister…I promised you that I wouldn’t stop and that I would gift you what you Highly deserved.”

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