Victims’ Families Dispute Blame

[Original publication date: September 10, 2004]

Relatives working to bring bodies to Nicaragua for burial

Meza Family MemorialROCK HILL – The deaths of the Meza family in York County are making headlines in Nicaragua where the mothers of the slain adults are arguing about who committed the crime.

DAN HUNTLEY AND DANICA COTO
STAFF WRITERS

In Friday’s edition of El Nuevo Diario, a newspaper in Managua, the front page had opposing photos of Orfa Molinares Munguia — mother of Marbely Meza — and Dona Teodolinda Meza — mother of Denis Meza. Above Meza’s photo, the headline says “Mi hijo no fue” (“It wasn’t my son.”)

The five-member Meza family died early Monday. The three children, Jairo, 5; Denise, 8; and Denia, 14, died after having their throats slashed before their home was destroyed by fire. The parents died from smoke inhalation and burns in the fire at 4053 Crestview Drive. Marbely Meza, 30, had a cut on her wrist that may have been a defensive knife wound. Investigators are awaiting toxicological test results they hope will point to the killer.

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Candlelight Vigil for 3 Murdered Children

[Original publication date: September 4, 2004]

Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to assist in family’s funeral arrangements…

A national support group for sexually abused children held a candlelight vigil Thursday to honor three slain children from York County in South Carolina.

Several people holding candles participated in a service the National Guard Armory. It was sponsored by Silentlambs (silentlambs.org), a support group for abused children in “religious institutional settings.”

The Meza family were members of the Rock Hill Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The children — Jayro, 5; Denise, 8; and Denia, 14 — died Aug. 9 before a fire engulfed their home. Authorities say they were slain by one of their parents — Marbely or Jose Denis Meza — who died in the fire.

Denis Meza had been arrested three weeks before on charges he molested Denia. York County Coroner Doug McKown said she’d also been raped within five days of her death.

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