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Stabbing Cases in San Diego

Couple Trick Man into a Relationship Then Kill Him by Stabbing

A Southern California couple were arrested Wednesday for allegedly tricking a man into a relationship. They then convinced him to name one of the suspects as his “heir” and then killed him, according to FBI documents.

Fifty-two year old, Jake Clyde Merendino was a wealthy Texas retiree. He was sadly found dead on May 2nd in a Mexico ravine. According to the news, he had been stabbed many times.

San Diego residents, twenty-five year old David Enrique Meza and twenty-year old Marie Langston are connected to his death. This according to a federal search warrant that was filed by the FBI.

According to the investigators, Merendino met Meza online in 2013 and sparked a relationship. Meanwhile, Meza had been living with Langston, who was pregnant with Meza’s child at the time of the slaying.

Days After Mans Fatal Stabbing, Named Heir Pops Up

Just days after Merendino’s body was found, Meza then produced a handwritten will that made him the only heir to Merendino’s estate, according to the FBI.

A Federal search warrant shows that on April 29th, Meza and Merendino rented a car in the Spring Valley area and drove into Mexico. They made the trip so that Merendino could close escrow on a $300,000 oceanfront condo at an upscale development, at Palacio del Mar.

Due to the fact that the new condo wasn’t ready yet, the two men had to cross back into the United States. They then checked into the Hercor Hotel which is in Chula Vista. On May 1st Merendino drove back to Baja California while Meza followed behind him on his motorcycle.

Police Investigate

The federal authorities said that the couple checked into Bobby’s by the Sea hotel, which is not far from Merendino’s condo. On May 1st the victim came down to the lobby between 7 and 8 p.m. and was looking for a wine bottle opener. Around 10:30 that same night, people claimed they heard a motorcycle leaving the parking lot. Meza’s motorcycle was the only motorcycle on the parking lot that night, according to the search warrant.

Around eleven o’clock that night, the border cameras on the property caught Meza entering the United States. Merendino was last seen alive around one o’clock May 2nd. He told the hotel security guard that he had to go help a friend that was stranded on the road.  Then his body was later found right off the highway around 3:33 a.m., he was only five minutes away from the hotel.

Meza wasn’t found on any cameras entering back into Mexico, the search warrant states that Meza was however seen entering back into the United States at 3:57 in the morning on May 2nd. Around 25 minutes later, Langston who was driving a black SUV with no license plates, was seen at the port of entry and was also crossing back into the United States.

FBI Investigator’s Search Warrant Statement:

Meza owns a black 2012 Hyundai Tucson SUV. I believe that this black SUV with no license plate was Meza’s SUV, and I suspect that the plates were removed to disguise the identity of the registered owner of the SUV (Meza).


On May 2nd at 7 p.m. both Meza and Langston returned to Bobby’s by the Sea, both in the Black SUV. The hotel staff said that Meza said that he needed to pick up some personal items from the room that he shared with Merendino. The Mexican officials later reported to the FBI that Merendino had several items missing, $15,000 worth of stuff. In the things missing was a diamond-stuffed Rolex, iPhone, iPad, and laptop.

After the nws of Meredinos fatal stabbing started to spread, an attorney in Texas. This attorney from Texas, was the one to make up his original will in 1998. He filed the probate paperwork in Texas on May 8th, however about a week later, Meza and his attorneys contested the will.

Police get Search Warrants

They filed a handwritten will. The will was scribbled on letterhead from the Hercor Hotel. Meza claims that the will was written by Merendino on December 21, 2014. It was the “paper” that named Meza as Merendino’s sole heir.

The affidavit stated that the investigators interviewed Meza in June, after they served search warrants to his apartment and vehicles. During that interview, investigators say that Meza denied killing Merendino. However, he did say that he and Langston were planning on robbing him. He did admit to calling Merendino the night of the stabbing and did ask him to meet at the spot where his body was found.

Interviewing Suspects

Meza then told the investigators that instead of robbing Merendino, he got scared and left. When Langston was interviewed, she said she crossed into Mexico on May 1st to visit Meza’s friend “Joe”. She said they sat at Joe’s table for four hours, without eating or drinking or watching TV. They then returned home.

According to the FBI, the friend Joe she mentioned was identified as Jose Aguilera. Joe said that he had not seen Meza and Langston for about a year and half. He claims that the couple hasn’t ever visited his home in Tijuana. Joe also told the agents that Meza only called him a week after the killing and asked him to lie to the police if they called. He asked him to tell the police that the couple visited him.

Meza is not in deep trouble, and is facing federal counts of interstate or foreign domestic violence. Which resulted in murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Langston is also in trouble, and is accused of obstruction of justice, a false statement to a federal officer and conspiracy to obstruct justice.




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