AUSTIN, TX – A horrifying discovery was made by firefighters in an affluent Austin, Texas suburb last month when they encountered a woman engulfed in flames along the side of the road. The victim, identified as Melissa Davis, 33, was found near the intersection of Mesa Drive and Cat Mountain Drive on the morning of September 29. Responding to a 911 call reporting a grassfire, firefighters stumbled upon this gruesome scene, leaving Davis’s devastated family grappling with an unimaginable loss.
Mary Anne Castles, Davis’s stepmother, expressed the devastating impact of the woman’s death. Castles refrained from elaborating further, respecting the family’s privacy during this harrowing ordeal.
Authorities have yet to publicly identify a suspect in the mysterious killing of Davis, a well-traveled individual holding a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.
Firefighters discovered Davis’s charred remains in an area spanning 10 feet adjacent to a home’s fence and alongside the road in the upscale Northwest Hills suburb. A search warrant revealed that a lighter was found on the ground, with a strong odor of accelerant lingering near the scene.
In a disturbing turn of events, a police K-9 located a butcher knife in close proximity to an area reeking of gasoline or diesel. Investigators suspect that this weapon was disposed of in the fire as an attempt to obliterate evidence.
An autopsy revealed the chilling fact that Davis was still alive when she was set on fire. Davis’s cellphone, believed to have been in her possession before her murder, remains missing, prompting investigators to seek her cellphone records. A family member informed authorities that they had last seen her the day prior to her tragic death when she mentioned heading to an Apple store to repair her phone.
Adding to the perplexing circumstances, Davis’s 2016 blue Toyota 4Runner with license plate number KYV3765 has disappeared. Police have released an image of the vehicle and are appealing to the public for assistance in locating it.