AUSTIN (KXAN) —The memory of Gloria Lofton lives on as the investigation into her death continues.

“She used to have a little hill next to that trash can and her mailbox was right there,” said Sara Rodriguez. “Every time I would see her at the gate I would go run over there.”

Rodriguez grew up across the street from Lofton and quickly became friends with her.

“She was a good person, always invited us to go to her house,” Rodriguez said.

DNA evidence from the 2019 death of Lofton linked her case to Raul Meza, Jr., according to court documents — and police arrested him on a murder charge related to her death soon after.

Sergio Rodriguez was also her neighbor, who said she was well liked by many people in the neighborhood.

“She was like another mom to me — a mom for the neighborhood,” Sergio said. “I knew her for like 30 years, she knew me when I was a kid.”

According to Meza’s arrest affidavit for Lofton’s murder, police found her dead in her home on Sara Drive in East Austin on May 9, 2019.

“I remember I was inside, I just heard loud noises and then I heard all these people come and all of a sudden I was like wow I saw forensics and said something went down.”

Both Sergio and Sara tell KXAN they saw who they believed to be Raul Meza hanging around the area, but did not know his relationship to Lofton.

“I always saw him get out of the house, or next to her and I was wondering what was he doing, but he was suspicious,” Sara said.

“I did not really know him that well,” Sergio said.

Sara said she feels some closure knowing that Meza is now behind bars.

“I am glad they found out who it was,” said Sara.