Austin, Texas – A chilling crime has left the community of Austin, Texas, in shock as authorities continue to investigate the brutal death of a local woman. Melissa Davis, 33, was found dead in a burning patch of grass in the Northwest Hills neighborhood in the early hours of September 29.
Firefighters responding to the scene discovered Davis’ body near the intersection of Mesa Drive and Cat Mountain Drive. The Austin Police Department (APD) later confirmed that a butcher knife was found in the vicinity of her body. The circumstances surrounding her death have left investigators puzzled, prompting them to treat the case as a homicide.
The timeline of events has been a point of contention in the investigation. While Davis was found at 5:08 a.m., the official time of death was cited as 5:37 a.m. by APD spokesperson Peter Kovach. The APD clarified that the time of death is determined not by when the body is found, but when a doctor is notified by emergency medical services.
Remembered as a vibrant artist with a passion for life, Davis’ death has left her loved ones in deep mourning. She was known for her work in various mediums, including paint, tile, landscape, and music. Her dream was to open an art hostel in Costa Rica with her friends, a testament to her love for art and travel.
As part of their ongoing investigation, the APD is currently searching for Davis’ vehicle, a blue 2016 Toyota 4Runner with Texas license plates KYV3765. A search warrant for Davis’ cell phone revealed that first responders detected a strong odor of accelerant at the scene, suggesting that she may have been burned alive. However, her phone was not recovered from the scene.
Davis, originally from Kentucky, was a graduate of the University of North Texas in Denton, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s in sustainable tourism. She had traveled extensively for her studies and adventures, visiting places like South Africa, the Philippines, and Costa Rica before settling in Austin.
Her love for animals was also a significant part of her life. She was known to take great pride in being a dog mom to Dudley, her constant companion for the past six years. They enjoyed spending time in nature, taking long hikes and camping trips together.
The investigation into Davis’ death remains active and ongoing.