Earlier this month, firefighters in Austin, Texas, found a woman still alive and on fire on the side of a road in a wealthy suburb. The woman’s family told Fox News Digital they are still trying to understand the “incredible loss.” Melissa Davis, 33, was found burned to death near the intersection of Mesa Drive and Cat Mountain Drive a little after 5 a.m. on September 29. The Austin Police Department says firefighters were there because someone called 911 to report a grassfire.
Davis’s stepmother, Mary Anne Castles, said, “It’s a terrible loss for all of us.” “We’re all going through a difficult time and just trying to wrap our heads around this.” She also said she couldn’t say anything else because it wasn’t her job to speak for the family.
Authorities have not publicly named a suspect in Davis’s murder. Davis was a master’s degree holder from the University of North Texas who loved to travel. A search warrant obtained by KXAN says that firefighters found her body in flames that covered an area of 10 feet next to a home’s fence and away from the road in the Northwest Hills suburb.
In the area of the burned body, police “smelled a strong odor of accelerant” and found a lighter on the ground. This butcher knife was found by a police K-9 near an area that smelled strongly of gasoline or diesel. Investigators think it was thrown into the fire “in an attempt to destroy the evidence,” as stated in the warrant.
It was found that Davis was alive when she was set on fire, according to KXAN. The warrant is for the cell phone records of the victim. Police think she had her phone with her before she was killed, but it has not been found. A family member told the police that the last time they saw her was the day before she was killed. News from the area says she told them she was going to an Apple Store to fix her phone.
Davis’s blue 2016 Toyota 4Runner with the license plate number KYV3765 is no longer there. The police have released a picture of the car and are asking people to help them find it. Anyone with information should call 512-974-TIPS and give it to APD.
Davis is from Fort Knox, Kentucky, and his family is in the military. Her death notice says that she graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in international sustainable tourism.
For the past six years, her dog has been her best friend. You can see many pictures of her on Facebook. The obituary says, “She took great pride in being a dog mom to Dudley.” “They lived together for many years in the mountains and loved going on long hikes and camping trips. They felt good when they were outside. They really did make a great pair!”