A Texas woman was found burned to death on the side of the road in an upscale Austin neighborhood around 5 a.m. on August 29.
The body of 33-year-old Melissa Davis was found by firefighters near the intersection of Mesa Drive and Cat Mountain Drive while responding to a grass fire.
Davis was pronounced dead at the scene because police smelled “a strong odor of accelerant” near her body, which was on a small grassy area next to a fence just off a busy road.
Investigators also discovered a lighter on the ground that appeared to be new. A K9 dog retrieved a butcher knife that police believed was “placed on the deceased to destroy the evidence with fire,” the search warrant states.
An autopsy of her body revealed physical evidence that she was burned alive. The police are looking for the suspect responsible for the murder.
The charred body of 33-year-old Melissa Davis was found on a roadside in Austin, Texas around 5 a.m. on August 29th. Firefighters responded to a grass fire and upon arrival found her remains
According to phone records obtained by Austin police with a search warrant, Davis had left her mother’s home in the Circle C area the day before, telling her she needed to go to the Apple Store to get her phone repaired. Her phone was not found on her at the scene
Police obtained a search warrant for Davis’ phone records and discovered that she had left her mother’s home in the Circle C area the day before, telling her she needed to go to the Apple Store to get her phone repaired.
The phone was not found at the scene, but police hope they can track down the suspect using her cell phone records.
Austin police are also searching for Davis’ car, a blue Toyota 4Runner, which was missing from the crime scene.
“A reward of up to $1,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest,” Austin police said in a statement Facebook Posted on October 6th.
According to Davis’ Facebook page, she lived in Taos, New Mexico, but was originally from Austin.
Her “soul sister” and best friend Ellie Simmons told the story KVUE: “She had more joy in life than anyone else, I think.”
“And we actually had a dream to open a hostel in Costa Rica with one of our other friends and set up an art station.” She painted. She loved art.’
Simmons went on to describe her and her closest friend as “free spirits” who had “the drive to make every day count.”
Davis’ car was also missing and police posted a search for the vehicle on their Facebook page. The smell of lighter fluid surrounded the scene, along with what appeared to be a new lighter and a butcher knife unearthed by a K9 dog. Police suspect the knife was left there to “destroy evidence with fire.”
Davis’ “soul sister” and best friend said the 33-year-old “had more joy in life than anyone else,” I think. Simmons also described her and her closest friend as “free spirits” who were “driven to make every day count.”
One of her close friends, David Haisman, still can’t believe what happened to Davis.
“It left me with a lot of sadness.” Just knowing that this person who was so dear to me was not only dead, but had gone through such an ordeal.
“I still feel like my heart is breaking.” Like I was being stabbed. Like I’ve been stabbed and I’m slowly bleeding to death,” Haisman told KVUE.
Davis’ body was found in Cat Mountain, a luxury suburb in Austin, Texas.
The homes that tower over the Austin skyline start at less than $300,000 but can cost well over $1 million.
The average cost of a home in this area is around $675,000 AustinRealEstate.com.
Cat Mountain itself has a population of 26,000 and has attracted many upper-class families and single professionals.
As of Tuesday, there have been no arrests and police are still actively investigating the murder.
DailyMail.com reached out to Austin police, but they declined to provide further details because the investigation is ongoing.
Davis’ body was found at an intersection in Cat Mountain in Austin, Texas. The city itself has a population of 26,000 and is a magnet for upper-class families and single professionals. Homes in the area range in price from $300,000 to over $1 million
Davis was pronounced dead at the scene and KXAN reported that officers smelled “a strong odor of accelerant” near her body, which was on a small grassy area next to a fence just off the road. An autopsy of her body revealed that she had been burned alive as police ruled her death a homicide
In addition to loving art and travel, Davis also had a great love for animals.
Her obituary said: “She was very proud to be the dog mother of Dudley, who was her constant companion for the last six years – he wanted for nothing!”
Police encourage anyone with information about the murder or the whereabouts of Davis’ car to contact the TIPS department or the Crime Stoppers program.